In early battleground states, Bloomberg’s partner addresses old allegations of harassment

PHOENIX – Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday took three-term New York City mayor and multibillionaire Michael Bloomberg to task over numerous allegations of workplace sexual harassment.

“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against, a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horsefaced lesbians,” she said during the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas. “And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”

The quote blew up on social media.

On the same day, Bloomberg’s longtime partner, Diana Taylor, was in Arizona, defending Bloomberg’s reputation and talking about education partnerships with Arizona State University if he wins the White House.

“That is horse feathers,” she said. “I’ve known this man for 20 years, and he respects everybody. Michael Bloomberg is a man of complete and total integrity.”

Taylor, a former Wall Street executive and former New York State Superintendent of Banks, has shared a home with Bloomberg, 78, for nearly two decades, according to Business Insider. Since he announced his run for the White House, Taylor has made campaign stops across the country to explain why Bloomberg would make a good president, said the Washington Post, which described her as a “pioneering woman on Wall Street.”

Bloomberg has long battled accusations that he has made demeaning and vulgar statements toward women, and several gender discrimination lawsuits were filed against Bloomberg and his company, according to the Washington Post.

On Wednesday night, Warren called for Bloomberg to release his accusers from nondisclosure agreements and confidential settlements, which he has so far refused to do.

Last month, on ABC’s “The View,” Bloomberg said: “Did I ever tell a bawdy joke? Yeah, sure I did. And do I regret it? Yes. It’s embarrassing. … But, you know, that’s the way I grew up,” according to Reuters.

Taylor told Cronkite News that Bloomberg developed strong ethics in his youth.

“He was an Eagle Scout, so that basically says everything about him,” she said. “Being an Eagle Scout, you’re all about integrity, honesty, hard work and giving back. And that’s who he is.”

Taylor spent Wednesday in Tempe visiting with ASU President Michael Crow. Their goal is to work together on education if Bloomberg wins the Democratic presidential primary and presidential election on Nov. 3. Taylor also met with women’s student organizations on ASU’s Tempe campus.

Crow noted he is not endorsing Bloomberg for president, but he said he is happy to work with Taylor if Bloomberg wins the race.

“In our national leaders is the opportunity to renew the design of our national education and our local education systems so that everyone has the chance to be a fulfilled learner, a total learner, a universal learner, and we’re not doing that yet so we need a new design,” Crow said.

Taylor is certain Bloomberg will succeed.

“Look out for November because he’s going to be the president of the United States,” she said.

Video by Frankie McLister/Cronkite News

News Assistant

Dylan Simard is a multimedia journalist who works as a photographer, audiographer and writer for Cronkite News. He is one of the hosts of Arizona in Focus, as well as a host for the Alexa news briefing.

Borderlands Reporter, Phoenix

Frankie McLister is an undergraduate student at the Cronkite School with a certificate in International Business that he received while studying in Seville, Spain. His interests include reporting bilingually on global stories, along with anything that has to do with travel, tech and the Native American communities.