Bloomberg criticizes Obama’s leadership style, but praises his reaction to Benghazi

Bloomberg at the Economic Club in D.C. (via NYC.gov)
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This afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized Barack Obama's leadership style.

"When the president turns over to Congress the ability to write laws, we're in trouble," he said, during the question-and-answer portion of a speech at the Economic Club in Washington, D.C.

"And what the president should be doing is bringing a bill down, and then cajoling, bribing, threatening, kissing—whatever it takes—modifying at the edges, to get that piece of legislation passed," the mayor continued. "But that ways you get a cohesive piece of legislation with real regulations that aren't inconsistent."

Most of Bloomberg's speech was dedicated to the relative economic success of New York City, and what he thinks Washington could learn from his governance. 

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Bloomberg made his remarks about the president during a brief question-and-answer session following the speech, when he was asked about Dodd-Frank and the Volcker Rule, and what he thought of them.

Bloomberg, a billionaire who started out on Wall Street, said he thought that, generally speaking, regulations are necessary, but these ones were poorly written.

"Unfettered capitalism just leads to ups and downs and haves and have-nots that society will never tolerate," he said. "On the other hand, it's the uncertainty of the regulations and how they're going to be interpreted that is the most difficult thing."

"And the uncertainty of the regulations, the uncertainty of court decisions, the uncertainty in the tax law is the biggest single impediment, I think, to growth," he continued.

Following his remarks about the president and his need to more forcefully interact with Congress so as to avoid such uncertainties, the interlocutor asked him who was most to blame, the Democrats or the Republicans.

And the mayor, though his politics lean more liberal than not, withdrew to his meticulously nonpartisan stance and said, "Both."

Near the beginning of his speech, Bloomberg praised the president's reaction to the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, saying Obama "struck exactly the right tone in his remarks."

Both Obama and Romney have courted the mayor in recent months in an effort to win his endorsement, and the mayor has apparently made up his mind in the matter. But he has yet to reveal his cards.