Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is throwing his support behind Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, who entered the crowded race late last week. Days after endorsing the former mayor of New York City, Fischer announced he would be co-chairing the campaign on Tuesday.
On CNBC’s “Squawk Box” this morning, Fischer downplayed criticisms of Bloomberg that range from his billionaire status to his support of “stop-and-frisk” policing, which opponents say unfairly targets African Americans and Latinos. Bloomberg apologized for that policy days before launching his campaign.
“What do good leaders do? Good leaders reflect on what works, what doesn’t work, they apologize, they improve,” Fischer said.
Fischer instead emphasized the good he believes Bloomberg has done through his charitable foundation. Bloomberg Philanthropies has given Louisville millions of dollars in funding to test gunshot detection drones, as well as to improve its use of data. Last year, the foundation’s What Works Cities initiative recognized Louisville’s data usage.
Fischer said Bloomberg has proven he can unify people.
“That’s really what the country needs right now, is for all of us to get on the same page and realize that diversity is our strength and let’s work together,” he said. “He can do that.”
Fischer also drew comparisons between himself and the billionaire candidate, who was, like him, a three-term mayor. Fischer serves as vice president of the United States Conference of Mayors.
“I’m a business guy as well that just happens to be mayor,” he said. “It’s hard to build a great business like he has and really have excellence like he has, both in the business world and in running the city.”
A spokeswoman for Bloomberg’s campaign, Molly Corbett, confirmed Fischer’s unpaid role as co-chair.
“Building on Mayor Fischer’s deep experience as an entrepreneur and mayor, and his work with mayors across the country, the role includes providing strategic advice and policy insights to the campaign and publicly making the case for Mike’s candidacy,” she said in an email.
Representatives for Fischer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
This post has been updated with a statement from Bloomberg’s campaign.