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. Brian in TX

    He is so right. One needs to look no further than this past election cycle to see that Americans do not understand we are now in a global economy. Xenophobia has no place in our society any more. The economies of the world are tied together.

    November 8, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. SethC

    Why is this mayor doing criticizing congress how dare he. Who does he think he is, you mean he has time on his hands to have some of the new people in congress or for that matter the old, sit and read to him, for what to prove something. How arrogant!

    November 8, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Jaywing

    BANG! Spot on Mr. Bloomberg. But it would have helped if you'd spoken up sooner.

    November 8, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. Snow

    Can't read and he bets they do not have a passport. Since when is a passport a big requirement to hold elective office, since anyone can get one if it is needed. As far as reading goes, I would bet the majority of the newly elected officials can read about as well as this dip stick can. This is why Conservatives are wanting to get rid of liberals and this type of demorat because they think they are better than anyone else.

    November 8, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. Dave

    At least Bloomberg is honest. Both parties are campaigning on unworkable solutions to real world problems. It is only made worse by the lack of cooperation.

    November 8, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. ThinkAgain

    Another thing: Many of the newly-elected Congress members haven't read the Constitution and are incapable of understanding such fundamental ideas as the First Amendment's guarantee of the separation of church and state.

    What a bunch of dangerous ignoramuses the equally ignorant masses have elected.

    November 8, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Bert in UT

    Thank god for Bloomberg. At least there is one person standing up and talking sense about economics, education and what it takes for the US to be successful in today's world.

    November 8, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. chris smith

    Bloomberg 2012.

    November 8, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. Bob, Virginia

    Well, yew know, that that Bloomberg feller is one of them elitist Northeastern yankees that went to a fancy skool and learnt how ta use big words like passport. He ain't no real Amurican.

    November 8, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. Indie Woman in Denver

    Bloomberg will always speak his mind, and in this case I had to laugh out loud! Some of these folks are proving GW wasn't the only one who's not curious about the world around him, but yet still, strangely, very sure of their world view.

    November 8, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  11. rsprings

    Bloomberg is taking a page from the Obama playbook. Bash the US on foreign soil to an economic rival. If he runs for president in 2012....Not voting for him.

    November 8, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. usa/canada

    imagine if Obama said that. but the mayor speaks the truth

    November 8, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. Dean

    Bloomberg you are living proof that some voters are idiots.
    We do not blame China for anything. We blame American corporate greed and the U. S. Government's stupid regulations and taxes on corporations for the moving of our manufacturing jobs th China.
    Our trade relationship with China favors them more than it does us. Moving our jobs out of this country has benn a major factor in elevating the economies of China and India while destroying ours. Let the trade wars begin. We would eventually be better off if we stopped all trade with China. We probably even sell them wheat subsidized by the US government.

    November 8, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    Don't you just love these arrogant, condescending elitest progressives??!! The more this idiot opens his mouth, the more his true colors come out. Hey Bloominidiot, take your elitest attitude and stick it where the sun don't shine!

    BTW, the DemocRATS and the unions have DESTROYED the school system in this country over the last few decades and then they complain about how uneducated people are. Maybe if we taught kids the basics instead of how evil capitalism is they'd be much better off in life.

    November 8, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. Carol

    Wow! An honest Republican.
    The republicans better be careful of what they wished for.

    November 8, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    and he was calling Obama arrogant????

    November 8, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. once upon a horse

    when it comes to smartness I think we as Americans are rteally starting to take steps backward. The "dumbing down of America" started by the likes of Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, and Bachmann is going to have a very chilling effect in the short term. What is even sadder ia lot of those wobn't even realize it.

    November 8, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. Ancient Texan

    The arrogance of this Liberal nutcase!!!! Yes, I know he calls himself Independent (this week). Hopefully the Tea Party will knock him from office in the next election. Superior intelligence? or typical Liberal Elitism? None of these folks seems to realize that the Tea Party is everyone that is not Progressive Liberal.

    November 8, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that China has not been forth coming enough with what their plans are. There are also a lot of questions as to what people are thinking when the make anti-China statements. I know that I have concerns about their monetary policy. Why are they refusing to let their currency float like the dollar or the yen? We need to encourage businesses to stop having their manufacturing over there and have it done either here in the US or someplace that we know has reasonable laws (and proper enforcement) for workers' safety and product safety.

    November 8, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. Anonymous

    The mayor is correct. We have become a lazy, stupid nation. Just look at Bush II (STRATEGERY!) if this wasn't so serious, it might be comical.

    I do not believe this country understands the risks and consequences we face.

    November 8, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Phil

    Mr. Bloomberg, you are bang-on in your assessment of the idiots that idiots elected to Congress.

    November 8, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. Jan

    He is right and I do support what he said.....Bloomberg should run for president

    November 8, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. Kevin

    I wish our representatives (of any level and branch) would keep their mouths shut regarding their opinions of our government when dealing with other countries.

    November 8, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. jules sand-perkins

    Mayor Bloomberg is NOBODY'S fool!
    Look at his massive pile of achievements, then listen carefully to anything he says.

    November 8, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. terry, va

    We don't need to bash China. We need to bash the idiots in the dumbocrap party that borrowed our future away from China. China is in the cat bird seat and can pull our loans at anytime and we will collapse financially. We better start worrying about paying the debt down by CUTTING SPENDING. We don't need to tax more dumbocraps, but if you want let the Bush tax cuts expire on all people. We will see how long the rest of you keep your jobs. We need to spend less. Sorry 99 weekers on unemployment, time to get off the couch and do something. Sorry welfare dudes, time to go out and clean brush and stuff to get the check. Sorry young kids, pay back your college loans and when you do go to work, you need to work to 67 or 70.

    November 8, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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