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Tipsheet

How Big of a Box Does Bloomberg Need to Stand on?

AP Photo/ Cheryl Senter

In an interview before the Super Bowl, President Trump gave his hot takes about various Democratic politicians. On the subject of Michael Bloomberg, Trump summed up his opinion of the candidate as, "Very little." 

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"I just think of little," Trump explained. "You know, now he wants a box for the debates to stand on ... why should he get a box to stand on? Ok, he wants a box for the debates. Why should he be entitled to that ... does that mean everyone else gets a box?"

Bloomberg's height became a trending topic on the internet, and several liberals were triggered. 

On CNN, Brian Stelter took issue with the president's comments. Stelter said there was no evidence that Bloomberg had requested to stand on a box during the upcoming debate, and argued, even if there were evidence, there's nothing wrong with a candidate requesting to stand on a box. 

In response to the president, a Bloomberg spokesperson issued a statement accusing the president of lying. "He is a pathological liar who lies about everything: his fake hair, his obesity, and his spray-on tan." 

But, as The Washington Free Beacon noted, Bloomberg has made frequent use of a box over the years in order to boost his height, and Bloomberg's precise height is something the remains shrouded in mystery. 

(Via The Washington Free Beacon)

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In a 2002 report on Bloomberg's first mayoral press conference, the New York Daily News reported that Bloomberg used a box at his mayoral inauguration. "The box, however, ended up causing trouble; Bloomberg nearly fell while stepping off it as he returned to his seat," the newspaper reported.

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The New York Post also remarked upon Bloomberg's early use of a box in a 2013 piece about Bloomberg's Democratic successor, Bill de Blasio. The Post reported that the city had to bring in a mayoral podium that could accommodate de Blasio's six-foot-five frame.

In 2015, Bloomberg needed to use "a step platform" when speaking at the same podium as de Blasio. The Post estimated that Bloomberg was "nearly a foot shorter." That would place Bloomberg closer to 5-foot-5 than his purported height of 5-foot-10.

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Bloomberg's actual height has long been a source of speculation and conflicting news reports, including from the man himself. His driver's license lists him as 5-foot-10. In 2001, the billionaire told a Newsday reporter that he was "in the ballpark" of six-foot-one. A few days later, he told the press, "When you're 5-[foot]-10 like me, you want to make sure the podium isn't too low." His account of his height has changed over time. In 2006, he said, "What chance does a five-foot-seven billionaire Jew who’s divorced really have of becoming president?" A 2003 Daily News article placed him at five-foot-six, as did a 2013 Post piece.

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Height does seem to play some sort of role in the presidential selection process. In the television era, nearly all the president's have been over or very near the six-foot mark. As the Free Beacon notes, if Bloomberg wins the nomination, Bloomberg would be the first male major political party nominee to be shorter than five-foot-eight in 100 years. 

Jimmy Carter stood five-foot-nine inches tall, which may help explain America's reluctance to go quite that short ever again.

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