Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said on Friday that former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s poor performance in his first presidential debate was due to a lack of preparedness in many areas.
“I’ve seen this in a lot of smart people before … and they fool themselves because you’re not ready for a presidential debate until you’ve actually been in one,” Fleischer told “America’s Newsroom,” presuming Bloomberg took for granted that he would have a stellar performance.
“The second is he doesn’t take questions at town hall meetings. All the other candidates are out there getting a regular barrage of questions from citizens. It sharpens you up, it makes you think things through, it shows you your vulnerabilities and you have to perform overtime and get better over time,” Fleischer said.
“He doesn’t do that. He doesn’t take questions so he stops taking batting practice. He never took batting practice and he hit himself with his own pitch,” Fleischer added.
Sen. Bernie Sanders predicted after Bloomberg’s first debate performance Wednesday night that President Trump would “chew him up and spit him out” should he win the Democratic nomination.
In a clip of his interview on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” set to air on Sunday, Sanders was asked whether he was “surprised how unprepared” Bloomberg seemed for “some very basic obvious questions” during Wednesday’s debate.
Fleischer advised Bloomberg to show how he is different from the other candidates.
“What are his ideas that differentiate him as a Democrat to lead America? And then he’s got to play better defense when he’s attacked over nondisclosures when he’s attacked over stop and frisk. What are his answers?"
“That’s where he was just woefully unprepared,” Fleischer said, also calling out Bloomberg for looking weak by failing to look his debate opponents in the eye.
Fox News' Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.