clearn.png
Wednesday November 20th, 2019 11:04PM

Bloomberg opens door to a 2020 Democratic presidential bid

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, is opening the door to a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, warning that the current field of candidates is ill equipped to defeat President Donald Trump.

Bloomberg, who initially ruled out a 2020 run, has not made a final decision on whether to jump into the race. If he were to launch a campaign, it could dramatically reshape the Democratic contest less than three months before primary voting begins.

The 77-year-old has spent the past few weeks talking with prominent Democrats about the state of the 2020 field, expressing concerns about the steadiness of former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign and the rise of liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, according to people with knowledge of those discussions. In recent days, he took steps to keep his options open, including moving to get on the primary ballot in Alabama ahead of the state's Friday filing deadline.

In a statement on Thursday, Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said the former mayor believes Trump "represents an unprecedented threat to our nation" and must be defeated.

"But Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that," Wolfson said.

Bloomberg's moves come as the Democratic race enters a crucial phase. Biden's front-runner status has been vigorously challenged by Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who are flush with cash from small-dollar donors. But both are viewed by some Democrats as too liberal to win in a general election faceoff with Trump.

Trump told reporters Friday that Bloomberg might well spend "a lot of money" but "doesn't have the magic to do well." Trump suggested he'd easily beat the former mayor and fellow billionaire.

"Little Michael will fail," Trump said at the White House, adding: "There is nobody I'd rather run against than Little Michael, that I can tell you."

Despite a historically large field, some Democrats anxious about defeating Trump have been looking for other options. Former Attorney General Eric Holder and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick have quietly had conversations with supporters urging them to consider a run, but neither appears likely to get in the race.

Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent who registered as a Democrat last year, has flirted with a presidential run before but ultimately backed down, including in 2016. He endorsed Hillary Clinton in that race and, in a speech at the Democratic Party convention, pummeled Trump as a con who has oversold his business successes.

Bloomberg plunged his efforts and his money into gun control advocacy and climate change initiatives. He again looked seriously at a presidential bid earlier this year, traveling to early voting states and conducting extensive polling, but decided not to run in part because of Biden's perceived strength.

Biden did not address Bloomberg's potential candidacy at a fundraiser Thursday night in Boston.

With immense personal wealth, Bloomberg could quickly build out a robust campaign operation across the country. Still, his advisers acknowledge that his late entry to the race could make competing in states like Iowa and New Hampshire, which have been blanketed by candidates for nearly a year, difficult. Instead, they previewed a strategy that would focus more heavily on the March 3 "Super Tuesday" contests, including in delegate-rich California.

Some Democrats were skeptical there would be a groundswell of interest in the former New York mayor.

"There are smart and influential people in the Democratic Party who think a candidate like Bloomberg is needed," said Jennifer Palmieri, who advised Clinton's 2016 campaign. "But there is zero evidence that rank-and-file voters in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire feel the same."

Still, others credited Bloomberg with taking on "some of America's biggest challenges" and finding success.

"While this is not an endorsement, Michael Bloomberg is a friend and I admire his track record as a successful business leader and Mayor who finds practical solutions to some of America's biggest challenges, from creating good jobs to addressing the opioid crisis and fighting for common-sense gun safety," said Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat.

Bloomberg reached out to several prominent Democrats on Thursday, including Raimondo. One Democrat Bloomberg hasn't spoken to as he's reconsidered his run is former President Barack Obama.

Bloomberg would pose an immediate ideological challenge to Biden, who is running as a moderate and hopes to appeal to independents and Republicans who have soured on Trump. But the billionaire media mogul with deep Wall Street ties could also energize supporters of Warren and Sanders, who have railed against income inequality and have vowed to ratchet up taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

"He's a literal billionaire entering the race to keep the progressives from winning," said Rebecca Katz, a New York-based liberal Democratic strategist. "He is the foil."

Warren on Thursday tweeted: "Welcome to the race, @MikeBloomberg!" and linked to her campaign website, saying he would find there "policy plans that will make a huge difference for working people and which are very popular."

Bloomberg would face other challenges as well, particularly scrutiny of his three terms as mayor. He has defended the New York Police Department's use of the controversial stop-and-frisk policy that has been criticized as targeting African Americans and Hispanics. Black voters in particular are one of the most powerful constituencies in Democratic politics.

Bloomberg will have to move quickly in the coming days and weeks to get on the ballot in many of the primary states, including Alabama. New Hampshire's filing deadline is Nov. 15.

In Arkansas, another Super Tuesday state, a Democratic Party spokesman said a person representing a "mystery candidate" reached out Thursday afternoon asking about the requirements to join the ballot. Reed Brewer, communications director for the Arkansas Democrats, said he walked the individual through the process — which simply requires filing documentation with both the state party and secretary of state, as well as paying a $2,500 fee — and was assured that the fee would be "no problem" for the mystery candidate.

There is no filing requirement for a candidate to run in the Iowa caucuses, which are a series of Democratic Party meetings, not state-run elections. It means a candidate can enter the race for the Feb. 3 leadoff contest at any time.

___

Associated Press writers Jill Colvin in Washington; Alexandra Jaffe and Thomas Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa; Michelle R. Smith in Providence, Rhode Island, and Nicholas Riccardi in Denver contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Business, AP Elections - Political Conventions, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bloomberg opens door to a 2020 Democratic presidential bid
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg opens the door to a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, warning the current field of candidates is ill equipped to defeat President Donald Trump
6:56AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Ivanka Trump: Whistleblower's ID irrelevant to impeachment
Ivanka Trump weighs in on the House impeachment inquiry of her father from half a world away in Morocco and says it's about 'overturning the results of the 2016 election'
6:31AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Raiders rally to beat Chargers 26-24
Josh Jacobs scored on an 18-yard run with 1:02 remaining and the Oakland Raiders had a late winning touchdown drive for the second time in five days, beating the Los Angeles Chargers 26-24
5:47AM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Bloomberg opens door to 2020 Democratic run for president
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is opening the door to a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, warning that the current field of candidates is ill equipped to defeat President Donald Trump
4:26AM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump campaign launching black outreach effort for 2020
Despite divisive rhetoric, Trump campaign launching black outreach effort
12:49AM ( 6 hours ago )
Brazil's ex-president could be freed after top court ruling
Brazil's Supreme Court delivered a ruling that could release almost 5,000 inmates still appealing their convictions, including former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and other powerful figures jailed in a sprawling corruption investigation
12:13AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Elections
AP Exclusive: Steyer aide offered money for endorsements
AP Exclusive: A top aide to Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer in Iowa has privately offered local politicians campaign contributions in exchange for endorsing his White House bid
3:44PM ( 15 hours ago )
People of color make gains in mayoral races across the US
People of color made history across the U.S. by winning mayoral races and school board seats in places where their families were once ignored or prevented from voting
1:28PM ( 17 hours ago )
More celebs join Michelle Obama's voter outreach drive
Election Day is over, but Michelle Obama is still trying to get out the vote
12:42PM ( 18 hours ago )
General Election News
French police dismantle large migrant camps in Paris
French police have carried out a large operation to dismantle makeshift migrant camps in northeast Paris
9:26AM ( 21 hours ago )
Kentucky: Bevin seeks vote recanvass while Beshear starts transition
Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin seeks recanvass of vote totals, as challenger Beshear prepares to take office.
8:44AM ( 22 hours ago )
3rd-party bid? Gabbard's denials don't ease Democrats' fears
Tulsi Gabbard's fellow Democrats are nervous that she will mount a third-party bid for president
12:09AM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
For east Syria, US troops are about much more than oil
Residents of eastern Syria hope the US troop mission there will have an impact far broader than just protecting oil fields, counting on it to bring stability and prosperity and keep out the Syrian government
4:41AM ( 2 hours ago )
Global stocks lower amid uncertainty over US-China trade
Global stock markets lower amid uncertainty about possible progress in U.S.-China trade talks
4:05AM ( 2 hours ago )
Japanese automaker Honda cuts profit outlook as sales slip
Honda has cut its earnings forecast after recording a 6.7% decline in net profit in the last quarter
3:40AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
McConnell, Trump joined for 2020, despite Kentucky setback
President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell aren't letting a Kentucky setback alter their own pact to win the state together in 2020
4:53PM ( 1 day ago )
California justices skeptical of requiring Trump tax returns
California's Supreme Court justices seem skeptical of a state law requiring President Donald Trump to disclose his tax returns if he wants to be a candidate in the state's primary election next spring
4:44PM ( 1 day ago )
Beshear starts transition while Bevin seeks vote recanvass
Democrat Andy Beshear pivoted toward transitioning to become Kentucky's next governor on Wednesday while Republican incumbent Matt Bevin as Republican incumbent Matt Bevin asked for a recanvass of vote totals that show him losing reelection bid
2:52PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
EU court cancels decision against UKIP ally over misspending
The EU's top court has annulled a decision from the European Parliament that requested a political group linked to the British political party UKIP to reimburse tens of thousands of euros in EU funds for a lack of impartiality
7:03AM ( 23 hours ago )
Bevin seeks vote recanvass while Beshear starts transition
Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin seeks recanvass of vote totals, as challenger Beshear prepares to take office.
5:31AM ( 1 day ago )
Prosecutors: Stone lied because 'truth looked bad' for Trump
Prosecutors in the trial of Roger Stone have told jurors that the longtime Donald Trump confidant repeatedly lied to Congress "because the truth looked bad" for the president
5:28PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Ivanka Trump: Whistleblower's ID irrelevant to impeachment
Ivanka Trump weighs in on the House impeachment inquiry of her father from half a world away in Morocco and says it's about 'overturning the results of the 2016 election'
6:31AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Raiders rally to beat Chargers 26-24
Josh Jacobs scored on an 18-yard run with 1:02 remaining and the Oakland Raiders had a late winning touchdown drive for the second time in five days, beating the Los Angeles Chargers 26-24
5:47AM ( 1 hour ago )
In Berlin, Pompeo says allied democracies must work together
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is stressing the need for allied democracies to work together
5:46AM ( 1 hour ago )
A year after deadly fire, Paradise pauses to remember
A Northern California town mostly destroyed by a wildfire is commemorating the anniversary of the blaze with 85 seconds of silence to honor the victims who were killed
5:43AM ( 1 hour ago )
Lithuanian ex-judge jailed for 2 months after US extradition
A Lithuanian court has remanded in custody for two months a former judge wanted in connection with claims she made about a pedophile ring in Lithuania.
5:39AM ( 1 hour ago )