November 8th, 2010
08:52 AM ET
12 years ago

Bloomberg: Some new Congress people 'can't read'

(CNN) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered a colorful critique of some new incoming members of Congress over the weekend, saying during a trip through Hong Kong that many of them "can't read."

"If you look at the U.S., you look at who we're electing to Congress, to the Senate - they can't read. I'll bet you a bunch of these people don't have passports," said Bloomberg, according to the Wall Street Journal. "We're about to start a trade war with China if we're not careful here, only because nobody knows where China is. Nobody knows what China is."

Bloomberg, the former Republican-turned-independent three-term mayor of New York City, made the comments to reporters Saturday in Hong Kong after speaking to a conference of business leaders from around the world.

According to Bloomberg, the incoming crop of new Congress members have taken dangerous anti-China stances that threaten to put America's trade relationship with the world's most populated country in jeopardy.

"I think in America we've got to stop blaming the Chinese and blaming everybody else and take a look at ourselves," Bloomberg also said, according to the paper.

Evelyn Erskine, a spokeswoman for Bloomberg did not dispute the comments, saying in a statement to CNN, "Mayor Bloomberg has said for years that bashing China may make for good politics, but it isn't going to improve American schools or put Americans to work."

- CNN's Jessica Naziri contributed to this report

Filed under: 2010 • Michael Bloomberg
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Mayor Bloomberg has said for years that bashing China may make for good politics, but it isn't going to improve American schools or put Americans to work."
    Gee, sounds an awful lot like what our President has been saying.
    And in regards to the new Congressional crop not knowinghow to read, they also do not know how to speak, how to negotiate,how to be civil,how to behave with different cultures. In sum, they are tactless, tacky, and embarrassing, here AND abroad. Their severe inadequacies may account for their hatred/jealousy of President Obama, a class act.

    November 8, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  2. Mark Jeffery Koch

    Perhaps Mr. Bloomberg, these new representatives don't have a hundred million dollars of their own money to buy their office as you purchased the mayor's office of New York city. Perhaps their votes were not for sale and the public voted for them on their own free will. It seems that when people are elected from our own party the electorate made "a wise choice" but when the American people choose a candidate from the other party they were "mislead", "lied to", or "bamboozled." This seems to me to be the elitists dissing the public.

    November 8, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  3. Seattle Sue

    There are a lot of voters that are not very well educated. Last Tuesday is proof of that.

    November 8, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  4. Orlando Patriot

    Time for NY voters to get rid of this idiot!! He has such contempt for the American people and especially those that disagree with his extreme views (which is not only the Republicans but also many Democrats as well as a majority of the population)!! Come on NY – wake up and send this idiot back home.........

    November 8, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  5. Stephen, in the depths of central Georgia

    Mayor Bloomberg is absolutely correct. And some of the new governors are no better. Voters did away with the "sensible center" in favor of clueless novices and brainless nutjobs.

    November 8, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  6. Melissia

    I assume he means that they can't read the situation between China and the USA, or perhaps that they aren't literate with legal writing, but if he means that they really do have illiterate people there I wonder if he's just intentionally trying to get a rise out of them.

    /insert the usual vitriolic, nonsensical party banter here/

    November 8, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  7. andi nichols

    What an elitist comment to come from Bloomberg- Who does he think voted him in???? are there not people in his own state that are less than Harvard, Columbia, Etc- graduates – who do not have passports????????? I would think he would keep his elitist mouth shut-or does Miss Manners fall under the "other " people title. Kick those who do you no harm????
    Take a step back Mr. Fancy Pants- and look who you are talking to. We may not have passports, but we do vote!!!

    November 8, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. Brian, NJ

    The man is right and will hopefully run for President

    November 8, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  9. Ralph

    If it is true that some of them can't read, at least they will have an excuse for not reading the bills that they pass. That is much more than you can say for the cretins who CAN read but pass bills without reading them. If there are those who can't read I'll bet that they will find someone to read for them. I'll take them any day over those who WON'T read.

    November 8, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  10. helpermonkey

    Bloomberg/Christie 2012. Permit me to dream.

    November 8, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  11. bob

    How dare you tell the truth about the GOP. Everyone is supposed to buy their nonsense. You will be doomed Bloomberg!

    November 8, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. sara

    He has some very good points.

    November 8, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    We are taking a look at ourselves.....and how Corporate America has sold out the US to China. Pure and simple.

    November 8, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  14. Flipper

    Well this proves beyond all doubt that Bloomberg is a closet liberal.

    November 8, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  15. Realistic

    well no wonder he left the republican party, he knows how to read and he read the republicans lips and it clearly said" Duh, we don't know how to govern but are great at fear mongering".

    November 8, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  16. tochi

    This country needs leaders like Bloomberg-I hope he runs for President

    November 8, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  17. sonny

    Truth but only the truth...New senate candidates lunatics and especially new GOP self proclaimed rising idiot never read any book in their whole life..I betcha..This country needs to invest in education. Not dancing with stars or reality stuffs. Spend your teen years in studies. It will bring lasting success in your life and will shape to become a better human being.

    November 8, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. rpb

    Spoken like a man who never bought an election or told the voters that he knew what was best for them and needed another term or two to show them.

    November 8, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. Wake up America

    This is hate speech! Can you imagine if a conservative said this? Or if a Tea Partier made this type of comment?
    Just as guilty is Alexander Mooney for running with this article. I'm sure he and his good ole boys club are giddy over these comments.
    Shame on you, Alexander! This should NOT be published. It's hateful, divisive and offensive – and you know it is!

    November 8, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  20. Cupcake

    The people that are in there now didn't read-so what's the difference?

    November 8, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  21. FM

    Well said Bloomberg. GOP are interested and happy to see the high number who wins in their side, and not whether they are qualified to be in congress/senate and do the job effectively!

    November 8, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. Julie C in CA

    What about our role as consumers? When I worked at HP and they started to outsource our jobs overseas, the battle cry was that people would rather pay $99 vs. $300 for the same printer made in the US. Also, by establishing the brand overseas, sales were also expanded. Seems we've become a society where we want our consumer goods cheap, but also made in the US. I'm not anti-China, but I also would like to see manufacturing brought back to the US. Not everyone goes to an ivy-league school; we need jobs for skilled workers too. It's a tough situation; I can see both sides on this one.

    November 8, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  23. usualone

    The mayor will be attacked from people who cannot take in the scope of what he is saying. This is a very important, valid point. It is too simplistic and easy to take the approach too many Americans take of blaming everyone else. Being a "proud" American at all costs costs us dearly. Educated people are not elitists and can help us get back on course of being a more strong and sound country. We cannot sit back and just assume things will be like they used to be. Innovation is what America was known for and needs to strive in that direction again.

    November 8, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. Emerson

    "I think in America we've got to stop blaming the Chinese and blaming everybody else and take a look at ourselves,"

    Hey, what a novel idea. Start with the proposition that we hava problem and that we, as a nation, and not as members of a political party or ideology, have to fix it. Can America get its head around something that radical?

    November 8, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. Chris G

    Never thought I'd ever agree with Bloomberg on anything!

    November 8, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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