On the Move: Mike Bloomberg Gains Momentum Ahead of Super Tuesday
Days before the first presidential primary, other leading Democratic presidential candidates concentrate on New Hampshire. Democratic presidential Candidate Michael Bloomberg instead held a rally Saturday in Oklahoma City.
Hundreds of Oklahomans attended the campaign event at the Oklahoma History Center. The campaign stop in OKC is part of Bloomberg’s bigger plan to confirm the Democratic nomination by skipping the first four voting states and focusing on Super Tuesday states such as Oklahoma.
Bloomberg pitched himself as the polar opposite of President Donald Trump. In his 15 minute speech, he spoke about his mayoral experience in New York City and his efforts to curb gun violence and climate change.
Bloomberg repeatedly criticized Trump and the other Democratic presidential candidates.
“Unlike other candidates, I don’t just talk about doing things,” Bloomberg said. “I have a record of reaching across the aisle and getting them done.”
As mayor from 2002 to 2013, Bloomberg said he reduced the number of uninsured New Yorkers, raised teacher pay and improved graduation rates. He spoke about cutting the city’s carbon footprint by 13 percent and about a gun control group he founded and largely funds.
“I am interested in all the candidates but particularly Mike Bloomberg. I wanted to see him in the flesh because I may actually end up voting for him and, you know what, I think I will,” said attendee Rick Allen Lippert. “At this point in the campaign, I am going to vote for anyone who is a functioning adult with a shred of decency and he seems to fit both of those criteria very well.”
Even though Bloomberg joined the race later than the other Democratic candidates, he said he can focus on getting to know more states, including swing states. Bloomberg said he decided to join the race for the presidency because Trump was on track to win.
Judge Judy Sheindlin attended to endorse Bloomberg. Sheindlin said she knew she had to support Bloomberg when Americans couldn’t get along anymore.
“There’s only one candidate that has demonstrated that he’s not an ideologue,” Sheindlin said. “He’s a problem solver. He’s a doer.”
The issues people say they are most concerned about include healthcare, education and criminal justice reform.
“I turned 18 very recently and am registering to vote,” said attendee Ibrahim Mater. “When [Bloomberg] talked about gun control and abortion…that hits here and nationally.”
Bloomberg chastised the time spent by other candidates in the past year camped out at early primary states.
“They seem to have very little time for the rest of America,” Bloomberg said. “I don’t think that’s good for our country or our party, for that matter.”
There were about 1,100 attendees at the event. The rally was intended to support his candidacy as Super Tuesday approaches in March.
“It was a pretty diverse crowd, which is great, and I think the campaign has been pretty intentional about getting diverse crowds and reaching out to a lot of people who may have not been reached out to before,” said Oklahoma State Rep. Emily Virgin, House District 44.