Wallace told hosts Ed Henry and Sandra Smith that Bloomberg’s decision to abstain from the early Democratic primary states — including the Iowa caucus debacle — redounded to his favor and contributed to Bloomberg’s fast rise in the polls.
“It seems to me this couldn’t be setting up better for Mike Bloomberg,” he told the “Newsroom” co-hosts.
“Because his rationale for skipping this first month was: ‘The party is going to be so dispirited, it’s going to be so cuffed up, everybody’s going to have beaten everybody, they’re all going to be somewhat bloodied and broke, and I’m going to be sitting there waiting on Super Tuesday [March 3] when … it’s 14 states and 40 percent of the delegates are chosen,'” Wallace explained.
Wallace said that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is likely to win the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, but if Bloomberg starts to edge ahead, Sanders’ supporters “may have to hold their nose and vote for the billionaire.”
An apparent wrench was thrown into the Bloomberg campaign late Monday after an audio clip from 2015 in which Bloomberg gives a full-throated defense of the controversial “stop and frisk” policing procedure resurfaced.
“So one of the unintended consequences is people say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods,” Bloomberg is heard saying on the recording. “Yes, that’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them… And then they start… ‘Oh I don’t want to get caught.’ So they don’t bring the gun. They still have a gun, but they leave it at home.”
Bloomberg has previously apologized for endorsing “stop and frisk” during his mayoralty, but the issue remains a source of controversy weighing down his candidacy.
On Tuesday, President Trump tweeted and then quickly deleted: “WOW, BLOOMBERG IS A TOTAL RACIST!”
Later on, he retweeted a photo of the two of them playing golf together with the caption: “Mini Mike is a short ball (very) hitter. Tiny club head speed. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”
In a new statement, Bloomberg said that he had inherited the practice of stop and frisk when he became mayor in 2002, but regrets that he had not cut it back sooner.
“I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on Black and Latino communities,” he wrote. Meanwhile, the hashtag #BloombergIsRacist started trending on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.