Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said in Chattanooga on Wednesday, “Donald Trump’s insults do not bother me. I’ve never run away from a fight, and I can tell you he’s not going to bully me, and I won’t let him bully you either.”
Mr. Bloomberg’s quest to become the second New York billionaire saw him stopping at the Bessie Smith Center for a quick rally with supporters from the Scenic City. After the rally, he had to answer questions about a recently unearthed audio recording from 2015, in which he was caught talking about heavily policing minority neighborhoods using the now-denounced “stop and frisk” policy.
“Those words don’t reflect the way I governed, or the way that I ran my company or the way that I lived,” said the candidate. “I’ve led the most diverse city in the country, and the public there elected me, and re-elected me two other times, so I think they’re pretty happy.”
When further pressed on the issue by media, he stated his support for the plight of the minority community and their plight, saying, “I think we’re going to do well in the African American community. They need a good economy, better schools, healthcare, they need jobs and those are the kinds of things I can bring them.”
During his rally, he told the crowd that he was committed to “passing strong gun laws” and stopping gun violence. This included going against the National Rifle Association, an organization known for being pro-gun in most instances. He said he did not wish to take guns away from people, but simply wanted to regulate their sale.
“I really value guns, and I want to fix one problem, and that’s the federal law that requires background checks on gun purchases, that says you can’t buy a gun if you’re a minor, if you have a criminal record, or you’re mentally disturbed,” said Mr. Bloomberg. “You want that to apply to gun show sales, and internet sales, because we just have to keep guns out of the hands of people who are not responsible enough to own a gun.”
He then said his proposed gun laws actually appealed to responsible gun owners in the South, citing everyone’s concern over the high murder rate in the country.
“If you don’t do that, then people will come and maybe try to take away your guns down the road,” said Mr. Bloomberg. “Gun lovers, if you do survey NRA members, they’ll agree with this. They want good background checks, because they understand if you have the murder rate we have in this country, it’s intolerable and society is going to do something (about it).”
During the rally, Mr. Bloomberg emphasized the many differences between he and the current president. He told the crowd, “Even though Donald and I are both from New York, the truth is we could not be more different. In fact, I bill myself as the un-Trump. Just think about it. He breaks promises, I keep them. He divides people, and I try to unite them. He’s a climate denier, and I’m an engineer. I actually believe in science.”
While Michael Bloomberg is one of the richest men in the world, he pledged his commitment to helping those from lower classes. He drew raucous cheers when he said he was focused on fixing income inequality in the United States.
He said Donald Trump “looks up to people who inherited their wealth like he did, while I’m self-made, and I’ll raise the estate tax to generate some of the revenue we need start fighting income inequality.”
While President Trump’s slogan is famously “Make America Great Again,” the Bloomberg slogan is “Mike Will Get It Done.” When asked about the meaning behind the slogan, he said, “Let me tell you what the “it” in the “Mike Will Get It Done” slogan means. It” means winning this November and sending Donald Trump back to Mar a Largo permanently! We are running a campaign for change, sanity, honesty, inclusion, compassion, and a campaign for human decency.”
Mr. Bloomberg seemed to avoid speaking about other Democratic candidates like Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden. He even went so far as to say he would pledge his support to whoever won the Democratic nomination if he did not. However, Mr. Bloomberg did seem to take a jab at Bernie Sanders at one point during the rally.
“I offer a record of getting things done, and commons sense plans that are workable,” said Mr. Bloomberg. “That’s what voters want. We don’t need a revolution, we want evolution and we need a nominee who can deliver it.”
As his campaign of 11 weeks has intensified in recent days, there have been rumblings of Mr. Bloomberg attempting to "buy the election." He vehemently denied this accusation, saying that in the past, he has made financial contributions to the Democratic Party long before his campaign.
“Of course not. But we have supported elected officials around this country for a long time,” Mr. said Bloomberg when asked if he had ever given any sort of financial incentive for an endorsement by another political entity. ”I’ve been doing it for years. If you remember, I paid for some ads to flip the House 21 seats to people who are good on guns and good on the environment, and on that day Nancy Pelosi got the majority and allowed her to start the impeachment process, and do what the constitution said Congress should do, which is provide some oversight to the executive branch.”
While the majority of rally-goers were supportive of the candidate, a few Bernie Sanders supporters protested outside. Inside, a woman ran up to the microphone before Mr. Bloomberg took the dais, saying, “This is not a democracy, this is a plutocracy” before the microphone was cut off.