Billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, jumped into the U.S. presidential race on Sunday, becoming the 18th candidate to join a crowded field of Democratic contenders seeking to face Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.
Billionaire businessman, and former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg officially jumped into the U.S. race for president Sunday (November 24), entering an already crowded field of Democratic contenders.
On his campaign website, Bloomberg didn't waste any time blasting President Donald Trump, writing "we cannot afford four more years of President Trump's reckless and unethical actions." And he released a campaign video touting his record as businessman, mayor, and leader for liberal causes from gun control to climate change.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) AD NARRATOR "But now he sees a different kind of menace coming from Washington, so there's no stopping here." His entry late in the race signals a primary campaign strategy that would largely skip early nominating contests in states in favor of battlegrounds that could yield a greater number of delegates.
It's a pricey one, with an opening 37-million dollar ad buy in states including Texas and Illinois.
His first televised ad aired in Florida, going after Trump and laying out a promise on a key Democratic issue -- healthcare.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) AD NARRATOR "Everyone without health insurance is guaranteed to get it, and everyone who likes theirs can go ahead and keep it." The 77-year-old candidate could pose a counterweight to some of the leading Democratic contenders: fellow centrists Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg and progressive Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
Bloomberg will compete with Biden and Buttigieg to brand himself a moderate in contrast with the progressive agendas of Warren and Sanders.
But analysts say it could be an uphill climb with Bloomberg having to play catch-up with his rivals and facing continued scrutiny over his record as mayor of New York.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, SAYING (NOV 17) "I want you to know that I realize back then I was wrong -- and I'm sorry." He apologized this month for his "stop and frisk" policy, which allowed police to stop and search people on the street and overwhelmingly targeted black and latino men.
And Bloomberg's plan to skip the early nominating contests and go all-in on Super Tuesday is a strategy that no winning presidential contender has ever pursued.