Michael Bloomberg 2020 presidential campaign
|Michael Bloomberg 2020 presidential campaign|
|Campaign||2020 United States presidential election (Democratic primaries)|
|Announced||November 24, 2019|
|Key people||Kevin Sheekey – campaign manager|
Kelly Mehlenbacher – deputy COO
Fighting for our future
New York City mayoralty
The Michael Bloomberg 2020 presidential campaign began when Michael Bloomberg, a businessman and former mayor of New York City, filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission for the office of President of the United States as a member of the Democratic Party on November 21, 2019. His principal campaign committee is called "Mike Bloomberg 2020, Inc." The campaign officially launched on November 24, 2019.
On March 5, 2019, Bloomberg announced that he would not run for president in 2020; instead he encouraged the Democratic Party to "nominate a Democrat who will be in the strongest position to defeat Donald Trump". On October 14, 2019, a day before the Democratic Party's fourth presidential debate, it was reported that Bloomberg was "still looking at" entering the race if Joe Biden were to drop out, but that "nothing can happen unless Biden drops out", according to an unnamed source reported to be close to the situation.
Activities prior to campaign launch
On November 7, 2019, Bloomberg announced that he was taking steps to enter the 2020 United States presidential election, and on November 8 he officially filed for the Alabama Democratic presidential primary. After qualifying in Michigan, on November 12, he filed his candidacy for the Arkansas primary. On November 13, he applied for the Tennessee ballot.
Bloomberg has said he will begin his campaign with the Super Tuesday states, not competing in Iowa or New Hampshire. He did not attend his company's second annual New Economy Forum in Beijing on November 20, a sign that his developing presidential campaign was now "dead serious". The summit was on the same day as one of the Democratic presidential primary debates in Atlanta. He missed the deadline to file in New Hampshire, thus reinforcing his planned strategy to focus on the Super Tuesday states on March 3, Another sign of his presidential run came when the University of Minnesota cancelled Bloomberg's scheduled lecture at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs on December 5, 2019, saying that it could be unlawful and against university policy to host him for such a lecture if he is a candidate. Bloomberg's "Everytown for Gun Safety" political bloc had previously contributed large sums of money to many Democrats running in the 2018 Minnesota statewide and legislative elections.
Headquartered at facilities provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the campaign's staff at pre-launch included senior advisors Howard Wolfson, communications adviser Jason Schecter, advertising creator Bill Knapp, pollster Doug Schoen along with sometimes Bloomberg Philanthropies CEO Patti Harris and political consultants Brynne Craig, Mitch Stewart, and Dan Wagner; and, at launch, Kevin Sheekey (communications, government relations & marketing head for Bloomberg LP) was campaign manager.
On November 21, 2019, Bloomberg filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission to declare himself as a Democratic candidate for president, though he said this was not a formal announcement, but a step towards making one if he decides to run.
Bloomberg officially declared his candidacy on November 24, 2019, during a campaign event in Virginia as well as in campaign spot touting himself as a "doer and a problem solver" broadcast on YouTube and on television, the latter in about 100 markets within the Super Tuesday states, which are to contribute about 40 percent of total pledged delegates at the Democratic National Convention.
Bloomberg News reported that he plans to self-finance his effort without outside donations, budgeting $34 million on pro-candidacy advertising, $100 million on anti-Trump digital ads in swing states and $15 million to $20 million to register a half million voters in five battleground states that had swung to Trump in 2016.
The Democratic National Committee's guidelines regarding the next scheduled debate on December 12, 2019, require participating candidates to demonstrate various thresholds of support including their receiving at least 4-percent support in four separate national approved by the DNC (or else 6 percent in two early state polls) along with donations "from at least 200,000 unique donors overall, and a minimum of 800 unique donors in at least 20 states." According to various national opinion polls conducted in early December, public support for Bloomberg's candidacy registered at around four percent. Asked about the prospect of not meeting thresholds for debate participation, Bloomberg said, "It is up to the DNC. They can set the rules. If they set the rules where I qualify, I would certainly debate. If they set the rules where I don’t qualify, then I won’t." At his November 25 press conference, Bloomberg said, "What I want to do is talk directly to the public, and explain what I’ve done, and what I would do. If you say that in a debate, OK. Although it is hard to do that. I think I’d be much better off talking to the public, just like I am doing now."
On December 4, the campaign launched campaign ads in markets in every state nationally.
According to editor-in-chief John Micklethwait of Bloomberg News, because of Bloomberg's ownership of the News (which refrains from investigating its owner) as well as his candidacy in the Democratic Party primaries, it will likewise refrain from investigating rival candidates throughout the primaries. If "credible journalistic institutions" publish investigative reporting about any of the candidates, the News will "either publish those articles in full or summarize them," Micklethwait said. The News's journalists' union protested the ban; a former Washington bureau chief at the News's, Megan Murphy, characterized it as "staggering" that "an army of unbelievably talented reporters and editors from covering massive, crucial aspects of one of the defining elections of our time"; and the Trump administration decredentialed News reporters from attending further 2020 Trump campaign events.
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