DES MOINES, Iowa — Eyeing a possible presidential run, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg reversed his previous harsh criticism of ethanol and blasted away at President Trump, saying that someone should “take away” the president’s keyboard.
Bloomberg made the comments after spending the day in agriculture-dependent Iowa, a crucial early battleground for presidential hopefuls.
“I think that ethanol and bio fuels are part of the mix, there’s a place for it,” Bloomberg said, when asked about his previous criticism of government support for the corn-based fuel.
“I think eventually, you’d like to get to a world where you don’t burn anything, that’s the way that you really clean the air the most. But we’re a long way from that, and I think ethanol… is part of the mix and it’s going to be part of the mix for a long time.”
Bloomberg also argued that corn-based ethanol is carbon “neutral,” a contention disputed by many environmentalists.
It’s a dramatic change for Bloomberg, who blasted the subsidies in an appearance on MSNBC in November 2007 and later at the UN.
“Subsidizing corn may be good agriculture policy, I’m not an expert on that, but it is bad energy policy,” he said at the time.
Bloomberg also took aim at Trump, who has dubbed the former mayor “Little Michael.”
“We’ve just got to have a government that faces the issues” he said. “You just can’t have a government that doesn’t believe in science. For god’s sake, if you get sick, do you really want to go to a witch doctor?”
He stayed on the attack against Trump when asked about the 799-point drop in the Dow Jones on Tuesday.
“He tweeted that they had a deal and then the Chinese said ‘huh,” Bloomberg said.
“Donald Trump is someone who tends to get ahead of the news, and I said this a long time ago, someone should take away his keyboard.”
Bloomberg’s trip to Iowa was billed as a chance to premier a new documentary about climate change supported by his philanthropy.
Iowans awoke to an op-ed from Bloomberg in the state’s largest paper about the importance of wind energy — a key eco-friendly industry here – that also took Trump to task for pulling out of the climate change deal the US negotiated with more than 180 countries in Paris.
“Iowans understand what too many leaders in Washington don’t: Fighting climate change is good for our health and our economy,” Bloomberg wrote in The Des Moines Register.
“That is a fact that the White House has yet to grasp. In explaining his decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, President Trump said that he was `elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris,’” earning a harsh rebuke from the pro-environment mayor of the metropolis once known as Steel City.
Bloomberg landed in Cedar Rapids, a two-hour drive from Des Moines, where he toured a solar panel installation company before heading to the suburban Des Moines community college.
He then went to a gathering of mothers in favor of tougher gun laws – a cause that he started backing as mayor.
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