NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg insists he won’t be a presidential candidate in 2016 — but he was OK with serving as a political commentator on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
In an interview that aired Sunday primarily focused on the opening of National September 11 Memorial Museum, Bloomberg answered a number of questions by CBS News’ Bob Schieffer about politics, too.
On whether Republican strategist Karl Rove’s comments suggesting Hillary Rodham Clinton might have suffered brain damage when she developed a blood clot in her head in 2012, Bloomberg said: “I understand political arguments. You can disagree with somebody on their views. You can even criticize their performance. But there is a line beyond which you shouldn’t go. And I thought it was about as inappropriate a thing you could say.”
When asked whether Clinton would be the best Democratic candidate for president in 2016, Bloomberg answered, “I think she would be a spectacular candidate on the Democratic side.” He added that he also has Republicans friends who might run.
“It’s a long time between now and then,” Bloomberg answered. “I’m sure he wished that it hadn’t happened. But Chris Christie is going to be judged based on the job he does leading New Jersey — jobs and the deficit and freedoms in New Jersey and how clean the air is.”
Bloomberg said he has no designs on the White House himself.
“If I thought I could win, it would be something to consider, but you can’t win, and I’ve given 12 years to public service and I’m not going to be a candidate for president,” he said.
Bloomberg said the Sept. 11 museum will serve as an important reminder to Americans.
“It’s the fact that freedom isn’t free,” Bloomberg said. “It’s a lesson that we keep forgetting. And here was a chance to graphically, with scale, tell the next generation and the generation after that and maybe tell our elected leaders today that we’ve got to protect ourselves from people who don’t like our freedoms.”
The billionaire also discussed one of his signature issues — gun control. He recently announced plans to spend $50 million on a grassroots movement to combat gun violence.
“We need to make the Congress understand that the vast preponderance of the public does not want criminals, minors or people with psychiatric problems to be able to buy guns,” Bloomberg said. “And we’ve got to make Congress understand that and vote that way. What the NRA is focused on is making Congress afraid of them in spite of the public wanting rational background checks for gun shows and Internet sales.”
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