Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg joins "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan in Des Moines, Iowa to discuss gun violence prevention efforts and the 2020 presidential race:
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about some of the choices the candidates are making. Joe Biden has said the president encourages white supremacism. Bernie Sanders said the president's a racist. Elizabeth Warren said he's stirring up racial conflict. Beto O'Rourke said he is making the risk of violence like this in El Paso more real. Do you think that it's a mistake for Democrats to tie the president's rhetoric to these mass killings?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: No, I think words matter. People look to their leadership for guidance and to say that it doesn't have an effect is wrong. So what the president says is very important, and if he supports or says nice things about racists, it encourages racism. If he goes and says nice things about white supremacists, he encourages that kind of violence. He's just- I hope he understands this. He cannot go and just have- shoot off his mouth and say anything, he's the president of the United States.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You decided not to run for president. Is there anything that would make you reconsider?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: No, I don't think so. I thought about it a little bit when I was driving into Des Moines today thinking, you know, I've thought- had- I came here and I spent a good chunk of a month meeting the people of this great state and in some senses I miss being on the campaign trail. I ran- I had three elections I won them all I know how to put together a team- I know how to put together a team not just to win elections, I know how to put together a team to actually deliver the services you promise. But I did that, and now it's time to do something else.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Can Democrats win if they bill themselves as progressives?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I think if you are very progressive, no. I think the public wants evolutionary change, not revolutionary change.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think that Democrats need a new generation?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I think there's an awful lot to be said for experience and accomplishment. There's a value to having been there, done that, and to understand if there was simple solutions to complex problems we would have solved those problems. I'm not a believer that, oh, there's a new generation coming along and they own the right to set the agenda. I think you earn your spurs, and you earn the right to set an agenda by showing people that what you've been doing is working.