Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg visited San Diego for the first time as a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination Sunday, pledging assistance for veterans and drawing a contrast with President Donald Trump.
Bloomberg began the visit by touring the veteran-owned software engineering and design company Fuse Integration.
“We will focus on expanding the Small Business Administration’s `Boots to Business” program, to connect veteran entrepreneurs to training and advisory services,” Bloomberg said.
Fuse Integration CEO Sumner Lee, a former Navy helicopter pilot, told ABC10 Bloomberg “nailed it with talking about mentorship for veterans who are tying to start businesses.”
“He’s talking about breaking down the red tape, making it easier for small businesses to get a foothold in the economy,” Lee told ABC10.
Bloomberg’s appearance at Fuse Integration came two days after his campaign released what it billed as its “Plan to Strengthen Economic Security for Veterans and Military Families.”
The plan includes:
— educating companies to better understand the unique skills that veterans bring to the workforce, including the value in including veterans as part of their diversity and inclusion efforts;
— making employment and education benefits available to veterans; and
— providing financial literacy support to help protect veterans and their families from predatory lenders.
Bloomberg then spoke at the Allied Gardens home of Wendy Wheatcroft, a City Council District 7 candidate and founder of San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention.
“We need less partisanship, we need less division, we need less tweeting,” Bloomberg said.
There were eight tweets from Bloomberg’s account Sunday — sharing pictures of the opening of his campaign’s office in Riverside; recounting his meeting at Wheatcroft’s home with mothers about gun violence; three tweets related to his visit to Fuse Integration; a picture of his meeting Sunday with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, a California co-chair of Bloomberg’s campaign; a Dec. 23 story from the website Daily Kos about the installation of the 1 millionth solar roof in California; and a video titled “Trump’s Broken Promises to Vets.”
Trump tweeted once Sunday, tweeting that, “These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!”
Bloomberg declared his candidacy Nov. 24, saying he was “running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America.”
“We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions,” Bloomberg said. “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.”
When asked about Bloomberg’s candidacy on Nov. 8, Trump responded, “Little Michael will fail.”
“There is nobody I’d rather run against than Little Michael,” Trump said.
Samantha Zager, a regional communications director for Trump Victory, the joint effort between the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign, on Sunday called Bloomberg “a complete embarrassment as mayor and he has brought those same socialist policies with him on the presidential campaign trail.”
“From his radical stance on the Second Amendment to his attempts to regulate every detail of Americans’ lives, Californians have already seen what a Bloomberg presidency would mean for them,” Zager said.
There was no immediate reply from the Bloomberg campaign Sunday night to a request for a response to Zager’s comments.
Just like he did in his three successful campaigns for mayor of New York City, Bloomberg is self-financing his presidential campaign and is not accepting campaign contributions, a decision that will keep him out of the Democratic presidential debates, which require donations from a specified number of donors.
The Bloomberg campaign has spent $128 million on television commercials, The New York Times reported Dec. 29, citing figures from Advertising Analytics, an independent firm, which projects that Bloomberg is likely to spend a combined $300 million to $400 million on advertising across all media before the Super Tuesday primaries March 3.
The campaign also spent $18 million on ads on Facebook and Google in December, The Times reported, citing figures from Acronym, a digital messaging firm that works with Democrats.
Bloomberg has decided not to compete in the first four contests to select delegates to the Democratic National Convention — the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary, the Nevada caucuses and South Carolina primary.
Bloomberg will first compete in the Super Tuesday primaries, which include California.
According to a biography supplied by his campaign, Bloomberg grew up in a middle-class family in the Boston suburb of Medford, Massachusetts, the son of a bookkeeper at a local dairy who never earned more than $6,000 a year in his life.
When he was 12 years old Bloomberg became one of the youngest Eagle Scouts in history. To help pay his way through Johns Hopkins University, he worked in a parking lot and took out government loans.
Bloomberg received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins in 1964 and a master’s degree from the Harvard Business School in 1966.
Bloomberg became a general partner of the Wall Street investment bank Salomon Brothers in 1973. He was laid off in 1981 after it was purchased by the Phibro Corp.
A day after being laid off, Bloomberg decided to start his own company which would sell a desktop computer that connected investors to a vast network of information and data, which would later be known as Bloomberg Terminals.
In 1990, Bloomberg founded the international news agency Bloomberg Business News, now known as Bloomberg News.
Running as a Republican after being a lifelong Democrat, Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York City in 2001, eight weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He was re-elected as a Republican in 2005 and as an independent in 2009. He returned to the Democratic Party in 2018.
Bloomberg would be the oldest president. He will turn 78 Feb. 14. Ronald Reagan was 17 days short of his 78th birthday when he left office in 1989.
Bloomberg would be the first Jewish president, a distinction that would also apply to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
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