Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s campaign released an ad Thursday touting his work for black-owned businesses, amid blowback from his now-viral remarks from a 2015 audio clip that some say were racist.
The 30-second ad, which will run on television in 26 states, features Cheryl McKissack, a black woman who represents her family’s construction business. She said the former New York City mayor helped level the playing field for black-owned companies, which had been missing out on opportunities.
“Over the years we have heard a lot of talk,” Ms. McKissack said in the ad. “But Mike came in and actually did something about it. That’s how Mike will get it done as president.”
A Bloomberg campaign press release also touted his work as mayor, saying he increased access to city contracts for minorities and women-owned companies, giving those demographics an increased $3.5 billion in value contract awarded in New York City.
The ad comes after audio of Mr. Bloomberg promoting “stop and frisk” policy in minority neighborhoods during a 2015 speech went viral this week.
“Ninety-five percent of murders — murderers and murder victims — fit one M.O.,” Mr. Bloomberg is heard saying in the recording. “You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16-25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city … And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed.”
He has since walked back his statements and said he worked to decrease the stop-and-frisk approach as mayor.
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