Mike Bloomberg, Democratic candidate for president, held a rally at Raleigh’s Union Station Thursday, Feb. 13, speaking about his record as New York City mayor and ability to beat President Donald Trump.
Chants of “I Like Mike” and “Mike Will Get It Done” filled the room as Bloomberg came up to the podium.
“I’m sorry about the rain, but I appreciate that you came out in it,” Bloomberg said.
Early voting in the Democratic primary began in Wake county Feb. 13 and runs until Feb. 29, according to the WakeGOV website. Voters are also able to cast their ballots on Election Day, March 3. Unaffiliated voters are allowed to participate in the Democratic primary. Bloomberg gave his thanks to those who voted early.
“I want to thank everyone who voted early. Hopefully you voted the right way. If you didn’t, you wanna go back and get your ballot and change it?” Bloomberg said, drawing laughs from the crowd.
“It’s great to be in Raleigh and the great state of North Carolina. I’ve heard some people call it the Tar Heel State, but this is Wolfpack county,” Bloomberg said. “While the other Democratic candidates have been spending their time in Iowa and New Hampshire, I’ve been here in Raleigh twice, and been to Charlotte twice.”
Bloomberg said North Carolina was the first state that his campaign opened a headquarters in, and that they have eight total offices in the state.
“To win in November, our party needs to win North Carolina,” Bloomberg said. “We need someone who can build a broad coalition, who attracts voters from the entire spectrum. It’s not only here in North Carolina, but in swing states all across the country. This election is not an election we can afford to lose.”
Beating Trump was a central part of Bloomberg’s speech.
“I think this is a national emergency because I don’t think we can last another four years with Donald Trump,” Bloomberg said. “The stakes could not be higher. The way to defeat him is to appeal to the broadest possible coalition and that’s what we’re trying to do. Americans of all backgrounds and all parties should stand shoulder-to-shoulder.”
Bloomberg spoke about his contribution to 24 Democratic candidates for House races in the 2018 midterm elections, 21 of which were won by the Democratic candidate. According to the New York Times, he spent $41 million on the races. Bloomberg said because Trump was not removed from office by the Senate after getting impeached, the responsibility now lies with voters.
“Since the Republican Senate hasn’t had the courage to remove the president from office, now it’s up to us, and we’re going to do it in November,” Bloomberg said. “I am running on a campaign for human decency.”
Bloomberg touted his stances and plans as achievable, which he said was key in the election.
“We know the Trump strategy — he makes plans look unaffordable and unreasonable and undoable. That’s not going to work against me,” Bloomberg said. “I offer a record of getting common sense things done, things that are achievable, and that’s what voters want. We need a nominee who can deliver it. I think I can do that.”
Outlining some of his plans, Bloomberg said providing health insurance and fighting income inequality were important issues for his campaign.
“I’ll raise the estate tax to generate some of the revenue to start fighting some of the income inequality in this country,” Bloomberg said. “Getting it done means finally providing health insurance to every American who lacks it and lowering costs for everyone else. We can do it without a massive tax hike on the middle class and forcing people to give up their private insurance by building on Obamacare.”
Elaborating on what his slogan “Mike Will Get It Done” means, Bloomberg quickly touched on a number of other issues.
“Getting it done means passing common sense gun safety laws,” Bloomberg said. “Getting it done means making America a global leader in the fight against climate change. Getting it done means creating good jobs with higher wages. Getting it done means addressing discrimination and inequality. Getting it done means finally fixing our broken immigration system and creating a path to citizenship, and getting it done means protecting a woman’s right to choose.”
Bloomberg offered his record as New York City mayor as proof of his ability to put his plans into action.
“Other candidates talk about raising teachers’ salaries; as mayor I raised them by 43%,” Bloomberg said. “We’re going to raise them here in North Carolina because teachers have been unpaid and fighting for a decent living for too long. People talk about improving public schools, well I raised graduation rates by more than 40%.”
As mayor, Bloomberg said he cut emissions, reduced the murder rate and improved health insurance coverage.
“In New York, I cut the number of uninsured by 40%, improved care for mothers and babies, and raised life expectancy by three whole years,” Bloomberg said.
Arguing that unity is crucial in this election, Bloomberg said that he will support the Democratic nominee, no matter who it ends up being.
“Now let me be clear, my fellow Democrats in this race are all good people,” Bloomberg said. “If one of them wins the nomination, I will support him or her. I just want you to know that it’s too important to have our party together to let the kind of division that we had back in 2016. We have to work together, but I offer a different kind of choice and a different kind of leadership.”
Bloomberg has spent more money on his campaign than any other Democratic candidate, including fellow billionaire Tom Steyer. His spending has run over $300 million, and is entirely self-funded.