Bloomberg Refuses to Call Xi Jinping a Dictator, That Raises the Further Question of His China Ties

Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, raises his hand during the Democratic presidential primary debate at the Gaillard Center, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Charleston, S.C., co-hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The South Carolina Democratic debate was a food fight, smackdown with everyone shooting at everyone else and no one really looking very good as a result.

The Democratic establishment is still desperately trying to head off Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

But the two most likely possibilities, Joe Biden or Mike Bloomberg, have significant issues for people.

Joe Biden of course got in his required gaffe, when he claimed that half the population of America – 150 million people – had been killed with guns since 2007 which no one called him on. He also had moments where he seemed to ramble and just lose track of where he was.

But maybe even more troubling than that was Mike Bloomberg refusing to acknowledge that Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist leader, was a dictator.

Bloomberg argued he wasn’t a dictator because he served at the behest of the Politburo and that he had to “listen to his constituency.”

Um, no, Mike, he doesn’t have to listen to his constituency, that’s sort of the point of being a Communist dictator. Shall we remind of you of how he hasn’t listened to the people of Hong Kong who want China to get out of their face and leave them the basic rights they’ve lived with for decades? How about the Uighurs and other prisoners he’s put in concentration camps?

What is it with Democrats and pimping for Communist leaders? This is not a moderate position and this isn’t the first time Bloomberg’s done it.

He made similar comments in September during an interview with Margaret Hoover, according to the Free Beacon.

He said Xi was not a dictator because he “has to satisfy his constituents.”

“The Communist Party wants to stay in power in China and they listen to the public,” he said. “When the public says ‘I can’t breathe the air,’ Xi Jinping is not a dictator. He has to satisfy his constituents, or he’s not going to survive.”

He also said that no government can survive without the “will of the majority of its people.”

These remarks are more troubling because they raise the spector of how wrapped up in China Bloomberg is through his businesses. We’ve already seen how this can affect free speech and impinge the freedom to act with the NBA. What if an American president were to be so compromised?

That’s not an idle question either, as Leta Hong Fincher explained in a story in The Intercept. Fincher was married to a Bloomberg China correspondent and she explains in the story how she was silenced through a non-disclosure agreement and faced threats when her husband wrote a story that was critical of the Chinese government.

But my story shows the lengths that the Bloomberg machine will go to in order to avoid offending Beijing. Bloomberg’s company, Bloomberg LP, is so dependent on the vast China market for its business that its lawyers threatened to devastate my family financially if I didn’t sign an NDA silencing me about how Bloomberg News killed a story critical of Chinese Communist Party leaders. It was only when I hired Edward Snowden’s lawyers in Hong Kong that Bloomberg LP eventually called off their hounds after many attempts to intimidate me.

Her story is a disturbing read.

Of course Bloomberg’s not the only one with China questions, as we note Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s connection to the Chinese through his business. Biden even flew Hunter to China on Air Force Two to meet someone with whom he’d just entered into a deal with in 2013.

But as Fincher noted, Bloomberg is so inextricably tied up with China, it’s more than a little troubling.