Michael Bloomberg rips Sanders for promising 'free health care and a pony' in speech to college grads
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (AFP)

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg closed out his remarks for University of Michigan graduates on Saturday with potshots at both Republican Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), WABC-TV reported.

"In 1928, Republicans promised a 'chicken in every pot and a car in every backyard' They won control of Congress and the White House, and a year later, instead of a chicken and a car, we got the Great Depression," Bloomberg said. "Today, when a populist candidate promises free college, free health care and a pony, or another candidate promises to make other countries pay for our needs, remember: Those who promise you a free lunch will invariably eat you for breakfast."

The remarks were republished as an op-ed in Bloomberg View titled, "Here's Your Degree. Now Go Defeat Demagogues."

Bloomberg, an independent like Sanders, was rumored earlier this year to have been considering mounting his own presidential campaign before quashing the speculation last month.

The speech opened with Bloomberg telling the graduates that the most useful knowledge they gained in their studies concerned "how to study, cooperate, listen carefully, think critically and resolve conflicts through reason," then quickly veered into an attack on trigger warnings -- defined as notes warning viewers concerning topics like sexual assault -- and safe spaces.

"The whole purpose of college is to learn how to deal with difficult situations -- not run away from them. A microaggression is exactly that: micro," he said. "And one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a safe space, because it creates the false impression that we can insulate ourselves from those who hold different views. We can't do this, and we shouldn’t try -- not in politics or in the workplace. In the global economy, and in a democratic society, an open mind is the most valuable asset you can possess."