Michael Bloomberg may have said some disparaging things about Donald Trump before he was elected president, but the former New York City mayor appears to have softened his approach now that Trump is in the White House.
During an appearance on Wednesday’s “The View,” Bloomberg, who once called Trump a “con” and “dangerous demagogue,” urged Americans to get behind Trump and suggested that the president’s opponents should focus less on resistance and more on the next presidential election.
“Let’s just all hope that Donald Trump is a good president of the United States,” the billionaire businessman and philanthropist said. “He’s our president, and we need this country to be run well.”
Bloomberg also explained that, although he did not vote for Trump, he wanted to avoid repeating the “mistake” that he says Sen. Mitch McConnell made as minority leader in President Barack Obama’s administration. In 2010, McConnell told The National Journal that the “single most important thing” for Republicans to achieve would be to make Obama a “one-term president.”
“I thought, that’s our country. That’s my kids and my grandkids,” Bloomberg said of McConnell on Wednesday. “We have to make it work. You have an election, whoever wins, then we have to get behind and work.”
Bloomberg, who publicly endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, said that those who don’t agree with the Trump administration should direct their energy toward electing new officials in 2020.
He illustrated his point by comparing America with other countries where, according to Bloomberg, people will try to “tear down the government” and “have a revolution” if they lose an election.
“We should sit back and say, ‘OK, four years from now, how do I get my person, my man or my woman, elected?’” he suggested, which elicited cheers from the audience.
But when asked by host Joy Behar about the “strong resistance” from people pushing back against Trump’s policies, Bloomberg defended their right to protest and encouraged people to speak out against the administration.
“If you disagree, you should go out there. You can protest. You can elect other officials, write letters, make phone calls,” he said. “But in the end, the public has spoken, whether you like the results or not.”
But then Bloomberg jabbed at Trump, joking that he may have won the election with “a little help from the Russians.”
The former mayor’s message to support the president stands out amid Bloomberg’s ongoing criticisms of the president while promoting his book, co-written with environmentalist Carl Pope, Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet.
In a CNN interview Tuesday, Bloomberg advised Trump ― whom he called “a very nice guy” who is unfit for the presidency ― to “stop tweeting and focus on running the government.” He also called the president’s denial of climate change “embarrassing.”
Watch Bloomberg’s full interview on “The View” in the clip above.