Former New York City mayor and current presidential contender Michael Bloomberg thinks farmers are dumb. At least that’s what a recently surfaced video clip from 2016 of him speaking to a room full of Oxford business school students seems to imply.
The big city billionaire was addressing a question on the challenge of training workers for the Information Age. He answers by breezily dismissing farming as a rudimentary skill which he, personally, can teach anyone. “You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn.” He then goes on to explain that the rural rubes who dig holes and plant seeds lack the cognitive ability to grasp modern technology: “The skill sets that you have to learn are how to think and analyze, and that is a whole degree level different. You have to have a different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter.” Critics quickly pointed out that the former Wall Street banker’s understanding of modern farming is as backwards as he imagines farmers to be.
It is the latest in an avalanche of opposition research. Currently third place in a number of national polls, the media tycoon who has spent a reported $417.7 million in campaign ads — ten times that of front runner Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders — is getting slammed with blasts from his own past.
Some political pundits suggest that the famously prickly New Yorker is better off not qualifying for the upcoming Democratic debates and staying out of the direct line of fire. Politico magazine asks, “Can he keep his cool?” The bigger question is can he keep his momentum?