With poll numbers rising, Bloomberg’s blunders are back in the spotlight

NY POST

As he rises in the polls and emerges as a serious presidential candidate, billionaire Mike Bloomberg is now facing aggressive scrutiny from the national media and rival campaigns. And it won’t be hard to find some hoof-in-mouth gaffes and policy goofs that contrast with the three-term former New York City mayor’s slick campaign ads declaring that “Mike Gets Things Done.” Bloomberg took some hits in the past few days, with the resurfacing of an audio tape of controversial Aspen Institute comments he made defending the NYPD’s aggressive stop and frisk searches where he said cops across the country could use a “Xerox” description of minorities to identify suspected murderers. Here are some other Bloomberg swings and misses:

— REDLINING: The term redlining refers to the “red lines” banks would draw on a map to identify areas deemed ineligible for credit, mostly based on race. Bloomberg referred to the push to abolish redlining as contributing to the 2008 economic meltdown during a forum at Georgetown University. “It all started back when there was a lot of pressure on banks to make loans to everyone,” Bloomberg said. “Redlining, if you remember, was the term where banks took whole neighborhoods and said, ‘People in these neighborhoods are poor, they’re not going to be able to pay off their mortgages, tell your salesmen don’t go into those areas … And then Congress got involved — local elected officials, as well — and said, ‘Oh that’s not fair, these people should be able to get credit.’ And once you started pushing in that direction, banks started making more and more loans where the credit of the person buying the house wasn’t as good as you would like.”

  • INCINERATORS DON’T BELONG IN RICH NEIGHBORHOODS: In 2002, Bloomberg insisted it’s not practical to put incinerators in wealthy areas. “If you were to put an incinerator on Park Avenue, you would drive away the revenue base that supports this city,” adding, “The fact of the matter is that where you tend to site things – unfortunately – it tends to be in areas that are also in proximity to people who are just starting their ways up the economic ladder.”

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