Democrats urged to drop presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg over ‘transphobic’ locker room chat

Mike Bloomberg

Mike Bloomberg is facing calls to drop out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination after a video resurfaced of him arguing that middle America would never understand trans rights.

In the 2016 video, Bloomberg is heard arguing that America’s mid-west would never comprehend why “some man wearing a dress should be in a locker room with their daughter”.

Speaking at the University of Oxford, the former New York mayor told the crowd: “We the intelligentsia, the people who could make it into this room, we believe in a lot of things in terms of equality and protecting individual right that make no sense to the vast bulk of people.”

He described explaining trans bathroom rights to a mid-westerner as a test “of a good salesman”.

“If you can sell that you can sell anything,” he said, to laughs.

Extending his logic to the issue of trans prisoners, he continued: “In our prison system in New York City, we have to have the policy that when you walk in you drop your trousers – you go this way, you go that way.”

He said that there are many “nuanced” social issues – trans rights being one of them – “that we are very proud of achieving, but aren’t believed by the vast bulk of people”.

Unlike marriage equality, Bloomberg said he didn’t consider trans rights a “family” issue.

After journalist Walker Bragman tweeted the video, another journalist, Katelyn Burns, retweeted it adding: “This is disqualifying.”

Doctoral student Matthew Borus echoed Burns’ sentiment, accusing Bloomberg of “transphobia”.

A spokesperson for Bloomberg’s campaign told The Advocate that he “understands that the transgender community has been under attack for decades and the advance of rights has not been equal”.

They added: “In April 2002, during his first year as mayor, Mike signed a sweeping transgender civil rights bill into law.

“His company provides comprehensive healthcare coverage for his transgender employees. As president, he has a comprehensive plan to secure rights for transgender Americans, including passing the Equality Act, ensuring transgender people have access to affirming health care, and working to end the crisis of violence against transgender women.

“Mike is running to defeat Donald Trump and reverse the many policies he has implemented that attack the rights of the transgender community.”

PinkNews has contacted the Mike Bloomberg campaign for further comment.