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Wednesday November 20th, 2019 11:01PM

The Latest: Bloomberg reaches out to senior Iowa Democrat

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Michael Bloomberg opening the door to a 2020 Democratic presidential bid (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

Michael Bloomberg has reached out to a senior Iowa Democrat in a sign that the billionaire former New York City mayor is planning a presidential campaign.

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack told The Associated Press that Bloomberg telephoned him Thursday evening as reports were emerging that he was weighing a campaign. Bloomberg left a voicemail indicating he plans to run.

Of Bloomberg's message, Vilsack said: "He is in."

In a follow-up email, Vilsack told the AP that Bloomberg said in the message that "it was true he is running."

Bloomberg aides say he has made calls to prominent Democrats but has not made a final decision to run for president.

Vilsack was the U.S. secretary of agriculture under President Barack Obama. Vilsack has been consulted by several of the more than one dozen Democrats campaigning in his state, which holds the leadoff caucuses in fewer than 90 days.

— By Associated Press writer Thomas Beaumont

___

2:20 p.m.

Joe Biden says he welcomes the possibility of a Democratic presidential campaign from billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

Speaking to reporters Friday after filing for the New Hampshire presidential primary, the former vice president said, "Michael's a solid guy, and let's see where it goes. I have no problem with him getting in the race."

The former mayor of New York City is considering jumping into the race for the Democratic nomination after ruling out a run in March.

In a statement, a Bloomberg adviser said Thursday that the mayor is "increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned" to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.

Biden described Bloomberg as "an honorable guy" and added that Bloomberg has "put a lot of money behind causes I care a lot about."

___

11:55 a.m.

Democratic Party leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire are welcoming billionaire Michael Bloomberg to join the 2020 presidential race.

Bloomberg is a former New York City mayor and opened the door on Thursday to a late-in-the-game run for the party's presidential nomination.

In a joint statement Friday, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley and Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price praised the "many qualified candidates" already in the race. But the two party leaders added they "are certain" voters in their states and other early states "are eager to ask Michael Bloomberg about his plans to move our states and our country forward."

Buckley and Price say they hope voters "will have that opportunity."

Bloomberg initially ruled out a 2020 run and has not made a final decision on whether to jump into the race.

President Donald Trump says there's "nobody" he'd "rather run against" than Bloomberg.

___

11:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is responding to a possible run by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the Democratic presidential nomination, saying "There is nobody" he'd "rather run against."

Trump was responding to news that the billionaire Blomberg is opening the door to a 2020 White House bid.

Trump predicted Friday his fellow longtime New Yorker is "not going to do well" but suggested his candidacy would be most damaging to former Vice President Joe Biden, another moderate.

Trump says Bloomberg "doesn't have the magic to do well" and predicts Bloomberg will fail after spending "a lot of money."

Bloomberg initially ruled out a 2020 run and has not made a final decision on whether to jump into the race. Bloomberg warns the current field of Democratic candidates is ill equipped to defeat Trump next year.

___

6:55 a.m.

Billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is opening the door to a 2020 presidential campaign.

Bloomberg announced earlier this year that he would not seek the Democratic nomination. But in a statement Thursday, his political adviser Howard Wolfson says Bloomberg is worried that the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates is "not well positioned" to defeat President Donald Trump.

A Bloomberg adviser says the former mayor has not made a final decision on whether to run. But he is expected to file to get on the ballot in Alabama's presidential primary.

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