“Cokehead, womanizing, fag.” That’s the way Michael Bloomberg once characterized a competitor in New York’s financial industry, according to a book of quotes presented to the billionaire businessman for his 48th birthday in 1990.
The quote is one of a number of vulgar and degrading remarks, contained in a gag gift presented to Bloomberg by an employee, that may spell trouble for the former New York mayor as he attempts to convince Democrats he can topple Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
The tome, titled Wit & Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg, was published in full by the Washington Post on Saturday morning. It has been quoted at length over the years but has never been printed in full by a mainstream outlet.
The booklet was produced by Elisabeth DeMarse, who worked as Bloomberg’s chief marketing officer. “Yes, these are all actual quotes,” she wrote in her introduction. “No, nothing has been embellished or exaggerated.”
Some of the quotes are pure bathroom humor, like his comments on salesmanship that simply states, “Make the customer think he’s getting laid when he’s getting fucked.” Another says, “As Chuch Colsen put it: if you have them by their balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”
Others are highly sexist, like one that has a name redacted in the Post’s document. “What do I want? I want an exclusive, 10-year contract, an automatic extension, and I want you to pay me. And I want a blow job from [name redacted]. Have you seen [name redacted] lately? Not bad for fifty.”
The misogynistic, homophobic remarks predate the #MeToo era and show a sophomoric obsession with referencing oral sex. On the subject of computers, he said: “You know why computers will never take the place of people? Because a computer would say that the sex of the person giving you a blow job doesn’t matter.”
His company’s financial information computers “will do everything, including give you [oral sex]. I guess that puts a lot of you girls out of business,” he said in another remark.
Some of the quoted remarks are relatively mild, like, “The three biggest lies are: the check’s in the mail, I’ll respect you in the morning, and I’m glad I’m Jewish.”
Others are positively eyebrow raising, like, “The Royal Family—what a bunch of misfits—a gay, an architect, that horsey faced lesbian, and a kid who gave up Koo Stark for some fat broad.” He characterizes one competitor as, “Cokehead, womanizing, fag.”
The booklet is peppered with cartoons that depict Bloomberg in various poses, of which many are less than flattering, like him dressed as a Roman Centurion fighting off dogs with name tags like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sacks and Citibank.
The booklet’s publication caps a bad week for Bloomberg, who has been dogged by unearthed comments on income inequality and racial profiling.
Bloomberg has not made a public comment on the publication of the booklet. A campaign spokeswoman said on Saturday, “Virtually all of this has been reported over the past two decades. In any large organization, there are going to be complaints—but Mike simply does not tolerate any kind of discrimination or harassment, and he’s created cultures that are all about equality and inclusion.”
The Post says it informed the Bloomberg campaign that it would be publishing the full booklet online, to which they were told by spokesman Stu Loeser, “Mike simply did not say the things somebody wrote in this gag gift, which has been circulating for 30 years and has been quoted in every previous election Mike has been in.” Loeser also told them, “Mike openly admits his words have not always lined up with his values and that way he has led his life and some of what he has said is disrespectful and wrong.”
The Post’s reporting also detailed newly unearthed lawsuits against Bloomberg that were either settled or dismissed and paint a disturbing picture of misogynistic behavior.