CAMBRIDGE, MA. (CNN) – He put limits on soda sizes, banned trans fats, and he leads a nationwide effort for stricter gun control laws.
When Michael Bloomberg was mayor of New York, conservatives disparaged many of his pet causes as the worst kind of big government liberalism run amok.
But during his speech at Harvard’s commencement, liberals got an earful from the former mayor.
Accusing universities of becoming less open-minded and less tolerant of diverse-ideas, billionaire Mike Bloomberg lashed out at liberal colleges and faculties — accusing them of “censorship” and “a modern day form of McCarthyism.”
“Today, on many college campuses, it is liberals trying to repress conservative ideas…even as conservative faculty members are at risk of becoming an endangered species,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg accused Ivy Leagues, like Harvard, of becoming “politically homogeneous.” He pointed to figures he says show 96 percent of Harvard faculty and employees donated to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
“96 percent. There was more disagreement among the old Soviet Politburo than there is among Ivy League donors.” Bloomberg said.
Several high-profile commencement speakers bowed out this year following student dissent over policies they disagreed with.
Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice backed out at Rutgers University, after student protests over U.S. policy in Iraq.
And IMF Chief Christine Lagarde stepped-down from speaking at Smith College, after students there denounced policies they believe fail to support women in developing countries.
“In politics – as it is on too many college campuses, people don’t listen to facts that run counter to their ideology,” Bloomberg said.
Some harvard students criticized their school’s choice of Bloomberg as the key speaker.
“A number of us at the law school, and across campus – concerned about Mayor Blomberg’s record of policing in New York especially the stop and frisk program which was racial profiling, disproportionately stopped young black men,” Jon Cioschi said.
Cioschi, a 2014 Harvard Law School grad, started a last minute Twitter hashtag #harvardagainstbloomberg, which failed to gain much traction 24-hours before the speech.
Why not give him his First Amendment right to say what he wants and then evaluate?
“These ideas are so blatantly detrimental to specific groups of people in this graduating class, and entire student body, I do think we need to look at that,” Harvard junior Keyanna Wigglesworth asked.
Many students, however, praised Bloombergs achievements.
“Bloomberg is awesome. In terms of the amount of money he’s donated to public health and the public health initiatives he’s taken on,” Harvard graduate Antoine Eskander said.