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Bloomberg: To create more jobs, we need more immigrants

New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg appeared on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports Wednesday to argue that an influx of immigrants can help fix the sluggish U.S. economy.

“The way to create jobs, the way to make sure that industries don't get developed overseas, to make sure that overseas universities don't catch up to us, is to have immigrants come here and do the things that we need to do,” Bloomberg told Mitchell.

The mayor said that should include both seasonal laborers who do jobs Americans won’t, and science and math PhDs who start new companies at a high rate. ”So, from both ends, the solution in America to more jobs is more immigrants,” he argued.

“Unfortunately, both candidates demagogue on this and say, ‘oh, no, no, no, there aren't enough jobs so we don't want immigrants,’ Bloomberg continued, perhaps forgetting President Obama’s recent executive order allowing many young illegal immigrants to avoid deportation. “As long as that's the mentality, you will not have enough jobs and you are sowing the seeds for what I call national suicide.”

Bloomberg joined former White House chief of staff William Daley Tuesday morning to take that pro-immigration message to a group of Chicago business leaders.

The mayor—who in the past has sparked chatter about a presidential bid of his own, but never run—also weighed in on Mitt Romney’s new running mate. “I don't like most of what Paul Ryan suggests, but at least he has a concrete plan,” he said, adding that “Democrats are making a terrible mistake” by focusing on Ryan rather than laying out their own vision.

And as he has before, Bloomberg criticized both presidential candidates’ lack of action on gun control.

“The president when he was running for office four years ago campaigned on, I'm going to introduce a bill to stop people from having assault weapons,” Bloomberg said. “And then he didn't do anything.”

“Romney, same thing,” Bloomberg continued. “He was governor of Massachusetts when they passed an assault rifle ban which he signed and he praised. Gets into office, absolutely nothing.”

Bloomberg also slammed Romney for backing away from perhaps his greatest accomplishment as governor.

“He actually put in a health care plan that worked,” said the mayor. “And he made it work. And then to walk away from it, I think, is sad but he thinks that's—he changed his beliefs or maybe he's gotten political advice that says he should do that.”