Mike Bloomberg Once Said He Could 'Teach Anyone to Be a Farmer' Because Farming Needs Less 'Gray Matter' Than Modern Work

Mike Bloomberg drew ire on social media on Sunday night after resurfaced footage of the billionaire saying farming required less "gray matter" than modern work went viral.

The ex-New York City mayor was called "condescending" and an "enormous clown" after his comments at a university event in 2016 re-emerged.

A federal official appointed by President Donald Trump also took a jab at the Democratic primary candidate, saying farming equipment contained "far more tech than a Bloomberg Terminal."

In a clip from his November 2016 talk at the Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford in England, Bloomberg said: "I could teach anybody, even people in this room, to be a farmer. It's a process. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn."

"Now comes the information economy, and the information economy is fundamentally different, because it's built around replacing people with technology," Bloomberg added. "And the skillsets that you have to learn are how to think and analyze.

"That is a whole degree level different. You have to have a different skillset, you have to have a lot more grey matter."

The resurfaced footage sparked criticism of Bloomberg across the political spectrum.

Billionaire Bloomberg claims he "could teach anybody to be a farmer," even implying that farmers don't have the same level of "skillset" or "grey matter" as folks in tech jobs.

So demeaning, elitist, and out-of-touch it's appalling. pic.twitter.com/Auplmdq56m

— Anna Kelly (@AnnaKellyWI) February 17, 2020

"Bloomberg isn't just condescending, he thinks food comes from supermarkets," the author Matt Stoller tweeted. "No wonder centrists relate to him."

Brendan Carr, the commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, tweeted that tractor and combines packed "far more tech than a Bloomberg Terminal" and called them "mobile data centers."

He added: "America's farmers are now experts in agronomy, tech, data analytics, & other advanced skills. Grateful for their work."

"Bloomberg seems to have acquired his knowledge of farming by watching Hee-Haw," said Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume.

The Independent Women's Forum Center for Progress & Innovation director Julie Gunlock also weighed in on the resurfaced clip.

"Bloomberg is an enormous clown who doesn't know about farming and doesn't deign to speak to farmers," she posted. "If he did, he'd know farming is intensely high tech today."

Newsweek has contacted the Bloomberg campaign for comment on the resurfaced clip, and will update this article with any response.

The former mayor's controversial remarks at the Saïd Business School re-emerged less than a week after a clip of Bloomberg defending stop-and-frisk and putting "all the cops" in minority neighborhoods at a 2015 talk resurfaced.

Speaking about the policy at the Aspen Institute, the billionaire said most murderers and their victims fit one description, adding: "They are male minorities 15 to 25."

Mike Bloomberg in Tennessee
Mike Bloomberg delivers remarks during a campaign rally on February 12, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

In a statement released shortly after the footage re-emerged, Bloomberg apologized for not cutting back stop-and-frisk "faster and sooner," but added that his comment did not "reflect my commitment to criminal justice reform and racial equity."