Billionaire and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg entered the Democratic presidential race Sunday amid plans to spend millions on advertising to make up for his late entry, and was immediately the victim of a Kellyanne Conway put-down.
“His new ad that he’ll put millions behind is all unicorns and rainbows,” Conway said during an interview Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “‘Keep your health care if you like to and if you don’t, I’ve got something better for you. Let’s rebuild America.’
“Number one, we heard that from Obama-Biden and Obama-Biden-care passed almost 10 years ago and as we sit here today, over 28 million Americans have no health insurance of any kind.”
Conway further replied to Bloomberg’s call to “rebuild America” by saying, “America already elected a builder” in President Donald Trump.
She said his decision to enter the race “means that the Democratic field is underwhelming, even to someone like Michael Bloomberg.”
Bloomberg, who has foreshadowed his announcement in recent weeks, made it official on Twitter.
“I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government, and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead,” Bloomberg tweeted.
The tweet includes a video that, in addition to a message touting Bloomberg’s candidacy, shows the damage to New York from Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, even though Rudy Giuliani was the city’s mayor at the time.
I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America.
I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government, and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead.
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) November 24, 2019
Bloomberg’s website makes clear his antipathy to Trump, and declares, “Talk is cheap.”
“We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions, the 77-year-old billionaire says on the site. “He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage. The stakes could not be higher. We must win this election. And we must begin rebuilding America.”
He says the economy “is tilted against most Americans,” the immigration system “is cruel and dysfunctional” and “a climate crisis … is growing worse by the day.”
“I know what it takes to beat Trump, because I already have,” he says. “And I will do it again.”
Bloomberg touts his years as New York’s mayor.
“We gave our teachers the largest raise in America, and we improved graduation rates by 42 percent,” he says. “We cut murders in half while reducing incarceration by nearly 40 percent. We cut the city’s carbon footprint by 14 percent and created new programs to combat poverty. And we expanded health care and strengthened immigrant communities.”
Although Bloomberg is coming late to the Democratic primary, he quickly made a giant splash by reserving $35 million in air time for ads, according to The New York Times.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont immediately attacked Bloomberg upon his entry into the race.
We do not believe that billionaires have the right to buy elections.
That is why multi-billionaires like Michael Bloomberg are not going to get very far in this election. pic.twitter.com/738Eg5ssLe
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 24, 2019
But the Bloomberg camp said big spending is in the cards.
“Mike is going to spend whatever is necessary to defeat Donald Trump, because he believes the stakes couldn’t be higher,” Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said. “So, whatever is necessary to defeat the president, we are going to spend.”
Not everyone thinks Bloomberg can spend his way to victory.
“I just don’t think there’s a hunger for Michael Bloomberg in a Democratic primary,” progressive consultant Rebecca Katz said, according to Politico. “There’s such an arrogance in all this. … It’s just a billionaire who just wants things and feels like he can throw money at it and that’s not how democracy works.”
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