Amid scrutiny over audio from a 2015 speech in Colorado defending his controversial stop and frisk police policy, Michael Bloomberg announced endorsements from three members of the Congressional Black Caucus Wednesday.
The endorsement statements from Reps. Lucy McBath (D-GA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands did not mention Bloomberg’s support of stop and frisk policing practices during his time as New York City’s mayor.
Although Bloomberg apologized for supporting the controversial policing practice last year, he came under fire for it after the 2015 audio of him defending it surfaced earlier this week. In the audio, Bloomberg described the policy as a way to decrease violence by throwing minority kids “up against the walls and frisk them.” In crude terms, that pretty much sums up the policy.
While Bloomberg hasn’t been competing in the early primary contests so far, which have featured an overwhelmingly white electorate, he will need to shore up support among minority voters if he hopes to have a shot at the nomination. A new Quinnipiac poll released this week showed that Bloomberg has gained some traction among black voters as former Vice President Joe Biden has faltered.
McBath, who became an activist with the “Mothers of the Movement” after her teenage son was fatally shot by a white man over his “loud music” in 2012, said in a statement shared with Bloomberg’s campaign that he “gave grieving mothers like me a way to stand up and fight back” and that “nobody running for president has done more for the gun violence prevention movement than Mike,” referring to his advocacy for gun control measures.
In his statement to Bloomberg’s campaign, Meeks said that he believes the former New York City mayor “will unite us behind the common purpose of rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure and driving our economy forward into the 21st century.”
Similarly, Plaskett praised Bloomberg for his economic policies, saying in her statement to his campaign that “Mike not only has the policies to bring equality and wealth creation to communities of color and economic development to keep us competitive in the world, he’s not afraid to fight.”
TPM reached out to McBath, Meeks and the Congressional Black Caucus for comment and will update this post if we hear back. Plaskett’s communications director Michael McQuerry declined additional comment.