Senator Ben Sasse on Tuesday tore into Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, harshly criticizing the former New York City mayor’s claim that Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping is “not a dictator.”
Bloomberg argued in a September interview that China is moving coal power plants away from cities because the Communist Party “wants to stay in power in China, and they listen to the public.”
“When the public says I can’t breathe the air, Xi Jinping is not a dictator,” the billionaire businessman said. “He has to satisfy his constituents or he’s not going to survive.”
“You’re not going to have a revolution. No government survives without the will of the majority of its people,” Bloomberg insisted.
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Sasse, a vocal hawk on China issues, expressed outrage at Bloomberg’s stance, calling it “nonsense.”
“This is the kind of stupid you can’t script,” Sasse said in his statement. “Michael Bloomberg actually said ‘Xi Jinping is not a dictator’ and that ‘the Communist Party wants to stay in power in China and they listen to the public.’ Nonsense.”
“The Chinese Communist Party has thrown a million innocent Uyghurs into camps and has made billions of dollars by literally harvesting the organs of their political prisoners,” the Nebraska Republican added. “That’s an evil dictatorship and Michael Bloomberg can’t hide from that reality.”
The Chinese Communist Party has organized mass detentions of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities in northwest China. The relatives of those detained were told that the length of the internments of their relatives depended in part on the behavior of those who were not detained.
The Bloomberg campaign did not immediately respond to a request for a response to Sasse’s statement.
Bloomberg ticked up to 6 percent support among likely Democratic and Democratic-leaning independent voters, according to a recent Hill-HarrisX poll, up from 3 percent before he officially launched his campaign last month.