Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday echoed claims he made about Xi Jinping in Tuesday night’s debate, refusing to say he’s a dictator and arguing the Chinese people don’t want democracy.
“If your definition is a democracy where people vote and pick their leaders, that is not what China’s about. And they don’t seem to want it. They like their system, and I think they’re wrong,” the former New York City mayor said during a CNN town hall.
“It’s a question of what is a dictator,” he said. “They don’t have a democracy in the sense that they have general elections. That is true. They do have a system where a small group of people appoint the head, and they turn over periodically.”
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg once told President Trump “yes, Donald, I do love you,” according to a resurfaced video clip from 2016.
Bloomberg, who is among the Democratic presidential candidates running to challenge Trump in November, was speaking at Oxford’s Saïd Business School about a month after the president was elected in November 2016.
The president told Bloomberg that he had seen his speech at the Democratic National Convention that July in Philadelphia in which Bloomberg was highly critical of Trump.
“But you really do love me, don’t ya?” Bloomberg recalled Trump asking him. “And I said, ‘Yes, Donald, I do love you, I just disagree with everything you’ve ever said.’”