Mike Bloomberg in Sunday Political Talk Show interviews during 2013-2015


On Drugs: No legalization; pot lowers IQ by 5 to 10 points

When an audience member at the Aspen Institute asked Bloomberg about Colorado marijuana, he responded that it was a terrible idea, one that is hurting the developing minds of children. Though he admitted to smoking a joint in the 1960s, he said the drug is more accessible and more damaging today: "What are we going to say in 10 years when we see all these kids whose IQs are 5 and 10 points lower than they would have been?" he asked. "I couldn't feel more strongly about it, and my girlfriend says it's no different than alcohol. It is different than alcohol. This is one of the stupider things that's happening across our country."
Source: Aspen Times 2015 coverage of 2016 Presidential hopefuls Feb 9, 2015

On Education: Push Voc-Ed: plumbers earn more than Harvard grads

Michael Bloomberg harped on the importance of vocational education. Bloomberg said the U.S. should deliver the kind of schooling that will help people become self-sustainable and increase a sense of dignity. If a person has the option of going to Harvard or becoming a plumber, he said he would suggest thinking about the plumbing career: "The Harvard graduate on average will never catch up to a plumber," Bloomberg said. "Partially because the first four years--instead of spending $60,000, you make $60,000."

Bloomberg said the poor in the U.S. need better education. By the end of his life, he said he's going to write a book about why the poor remain poor. "It's always the poor that get screwed," said the founder of Bloomberg L.P.

Source: Aspen Times 2015 coverage of 2016 Presidential hopefuls Feb 9, 2015

On Environment: Smoking ban has spread from NYC to every big city

Q: As the executive of NYC, you're telling people what they can & cannot do.

A: No, we're not; we're not telling them at all. We're telling them what science says is in their interest or isn't in their interest. We allow you to smoke. We just don't let you smoke where other people have to breathe the smoke that you're exhaling or comes from your cigarette. And if you remember, when we put a smoking ban in, nobody thought that was going to work. Today, all of Latin America, all of Western Europe, and almost every big city in America and most of the states are smoke-free. This is another thing: Obesity is going to kill more people this year in the world than starvation. We have to do something about it.

Q: But where is the line?

A: I do not think we should ban most things. I do think there are certain times we should infringe on your freedom. If you want to smoke, I think you have a right to do so and I would protect that. But our job as government is to inform the public.

Source: Meet the Press 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls Mar 24, 2013

On Gun Control: 80% of NRA members support background checks

Q: 100 days after the Newtown massacre, the assault weapons ban has been taken out of the Senate bill. Here's what you said right after Newtown:

[Video] BLOOMBERG: The NRA's power is so vastly overrated. The public want to stop this carnage. And if 20 kids isn't enough to convince them, I don't know what would.[End]

Q: Do you fear that the moment that was created by Newtown has been lost?

BLOOMBERG: It would be a great tragedy if it is lost. I am cautiously optimistic. You have an issue where 90% of the public, 80% of NRA members even, say that they think we should have reasonable checks before people are allowed to buy guns--they all support the 2nd Amendment, as do I. But we have to stop the carnage.

Do you think the assault weapons ban is going to pass?

BLOOMBERG: We've been fighting since 2007 to get a vote. And if we were to [pass] background checks only, it wouldn't be as good as if we got both, but we're going to get the vote for sure on assault weapons.

Source: Meet the Press 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls Mar 24, 2013

On Health Care: Obesity kills more people than smoking; limit portion size

Q: On people who oppose your effort in the name of public health to limit portion size when it comes to sugary drinks: A judge has ruled against you, saying the law doesn't make sense, at the moment. How far will you take this push to limit how much soda you can drink in New York City?

BLOOMBERG: We're certainly appealing. We think the judge was just clearly wrong on this. Our department of health has the legal ability to do this. And we're not banning anything. All we're saying is, we want to show you just how big the cup is. If you want 32 ounces, take two cups to your seat. If you want 64, carry four. But our hope is, if you only take one, you won't go back.

Q: So haven't you even won in losing, though? Wasn't this really about public awareness?

BLOOMBERG: Obesity this year is going to kill more people in New York City than smoking.

Source: Meet the Press 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls Mar 24, 2013

On Gun Control: Background checks do work, and should be highest priority

Q: It looks like Congress won't ban assault weapons, but might get better background checks on the sale of these weapons.

BLOOMBERG: The truth of the matter is only about 400 people a year get killed with assault weapons or high-capacity magazines. That is 400 too many, but you compare that to handguns, pistols, this year, are going to kill 12,000 Americans. There are 14 states that have background checks required for all sales. 14 states have closed the federal loophole, and in those 14 states the suicide rate is half the national average and the number of women that get killed in domestic violence is 40% less than in other states. So background checks do work.

Q: Why is it so hard to get the Congress to do it?

BLOOMBERG: Because, up until now, it has only been the NRA that has been talking about guns to the public & to Congress. And I'm trying to level the playing field and bring out the facts. The truth of the matter is the NRA itself, a few years ago, was in favor of background checks.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2016 presidential hopefuls Mar 10, 2013

On Health Care: Large sugary drink rule is portion control, not a ban

Q: Your ban on these large sugary drinks goes into effect next week in New York. Some people are saying this is making it really hard on us, including Starbucks.

BLOOMBERG: That's ridiculous. Starbucks knows how to package things. They can change instantly when it's in their interest to do so. This is in the country's interest. This year, for the first time in the history of the world, more people will die from too much food than from too little food. More people will die from the effects of obesity than from starvation. And we've got to do something about this. This is going to bankrupt the country. Our medical system cannot handle it. Being overweight has gone from a rich person's disease to a poor person's disease. We've just got to do something. And all we're doing in NYC is reminding you that it's not in your interest to have too many empty calories. You can have some. If you want to have 32 ounces, just buy two 16-ounce cups. We're not banning anything. it's called portion control.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2016 presidential hopefuls Mar 10, 2013

On Social Security: To reduce the deficit we must cut entitlements

Q: Your thoughts on the sequester?

BLOOMBERG: Winston Churchill once said, "You can always depend on America to do the right thing after exhausting all other possibilities." We've had a democracy for 235-odd years and it works in the end, and that's what's in important. Sequestering is here. It will go on for a while. It's not going to be the end of the world as we know it. And everybody was saying, "Oh, the worst-case scenario is exactly what we're going to implement." And now they're into the real world and they'll try to find ways to do more with less, and then hopefully Congress will come together and modify sequestering to cut things back where we can afford it and not where we can't. And keep in mind, no program to reduce the deficit makes any sense whatsoever unless you address the issue of entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, interest payment on the debt, which you can't touch, and defense spending. Everything else is tiny compared to that.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2016 presidential hopefuls Mar 10, 2013

The above quotations are from Sunday Political Talk Show interviews during 2013-2015, interviewing presidential hopefuls for 2016.
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