Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently sat down with Katie Couric for his first extended interview since leaving office, and claimed he’s not missing City Hall all that much.
“I literally don’t think about it,” Mr. Bloomberg told the Yahoo News host, when asked whether he was suffering from withdrawal following 12 years as the city’s mayor.
“I can’t remember what I did yesterday. But I can tell you what I’ll do tomorrow,” he added.
Speaking from the U.N., where he was recently appointed a special envoy for cities and climate change, Mr. Bloomberg made clear, however, that not everything had changed.
He dismissed concerns over growing income inequality and slammed current efforts in the city and across the country to increase the minimum wage, which he argued would be harmful because people would lose jobs. (As mayor, however, Mr. Bloomberg endorsed a plan to raise the state’s minimum wage.)
“I’ve always thought that this impetus to raise the minimum wage is one of the most misguided things we can do,” he said. “You’re going to hurt the poor. There will be some amount of job loss if you raise the minimum wage.”
He also doubled down on one of his most controversial claims: that the city’s homeless shelter population is at historic heights at least partially because the city has become a shelter destination.
“You an literally come, fly first class to Kennedy Airport and say to the taxi driver, ‘Take me the shelter system,'” he told Ms. Couric, who pressed the mayor skeptically.
“There are a handful. Oh, there’s no question there’s a handful,” he insisted.
As for his decision not to run for president several years ago, the mayor said he never imagines what it might be like to sit in the Oval Office.
“No, I don’t sit there and should’ve, would’ve and could’ve or have a Walter Mitty dream. I just don’t do that,” said the former mayor. “I mean, he’s got a 747 to fly around in. OK. that’s a very nice. But a lot of airports you can’t land in a 747. so it really is a disadvantage for him.”