Photo of Michael Bloomberg

Remarks in Augusta, Georgia

December 06, 2019

Good afternoon everyone!

'Thank you, mister mayor, for your support – and your leadership here in Augusta. It's great to be here to talk to voters about some of the issues that matter most to them.

We went to a coffee shop where we took a lot of pictures – including, it turns out, with the mother of one of my security people. She's lived here forever and he's now a hero because he got his mother with this mayor (referring to Mayor Davis). Didn't seem to care about me – this mayor was the one that mattered.

'And it's great to see some of the work that the mayor is leading to put this city back on track for a bright future.

'Mayor Davis has done a great job, and as president of the African American Mayors Association, he's in a key position to help cities work together and spread good ideas, which is critically important.

Now, I know we both believe in the power of cities to drive change around the country. That's what mayors do. We've both been lucky enough to serve for a while and make a difference. We also both have degrees in electrical engineering – although I'm sure Mayor Davis got better grades than I did.

You went to Geogia Tech, is that right? I went to Johns Hopkins and I think Georgia Tech did have a better engineering school – I hope not today, but maybe back then. Let's just say, with my academic record, I was the kind of student who made the top half of the class possible. So I'm honored to have his support.

I'm running for president, as you know. When people say why, the answer is to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. I think the stakes could not be higher. We cannot afford four more years of President Trump's recklessness and unethical actions. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage. We must win this election. And we must begin rebuilding America – by investing right here at home, and restoring our nation's credibility and moral leadership abroad.

I've spent my career bringing people together and tackling big problems – and fixing them. It has worked well in business – and in running the country's largest, most progressive city. And I think it can work in Washington, as well.

One of my priorities as president will be supporting and empowering local leaders like Mayor Davis – because I've seen how effective local governments can be. Local governments are where you deliver the services. Local governments are where the people can get to talk to their leaders on the streets, every day.

And I'm happy that we made a big difference in New York City, just as Mayor Davis has made here. In New York City, we raised graduation rates, while I was mayor, by 42%. We cut murders in half while also cutting incarceration rates by 39%. And we cut carbon emissions by 14% while also creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and we expanded public health insurance.

I know we can make big progress on all of those issues nationally – because we did it in New York! Not just me, but the team I put together. And teamwork is the real key to making government efficient.

I know we can defeat Donald Trump – because we've already beaten him.

We've taken him on over gun violence – and won stronger gun laws in states across the country. We've taken him on over climate change — and we've led an effort that has closed more than half the nation's dirty coal-fired power plants. We've also taken him on over e-cigarette use by children, and we are now winning in cities and states across the country.

Georgia, as you know, is a critical, crucial battleground state in this election, but what you don't see is presidential candidates coming here very often. The fact is, President Trump is about the only one spending money here and in swing states around the country – and that's a big problem for our party.

Democrats have a great chance to win Georgia and turn it from red to blue for the first time in a generation if we nominate someone who makes winning here a top priority. And if we nominate someone who builds the kind of broad coalition that's needed to win in Georgia and other crucial swing states. That's what I'm working to do, and that's why I'm here.

We can win more than just the presidential election in Georgia. Georgia is the only state with two Senate seats up for grabs in November. Democrats can win both of those – and I'll do everything I can to make sure that happens.

I was glad to support Stacey Abrams' campaign last year – and to support her new effort to register voters in battleground states, including here in Georgia.

Governor Kemp's attempt to purge another 300,000 voters from Georgia's voting rolls has nothing to do with the integrity of the voting rolls, and everything to do with hurting Democrats, so we can't let that happen. We have to fight back, and if I'm the nominee, we'll have a fully funded effort to support Georgia Democrats up and down the ticket so we can flip the state from Red to Blue, just as we did in Virginia.

I supported, as you know, last year, 21 winning candidates in the midterms. One of them was Lucy McBath, who won Georgia's sixth Congressional district, outside of Atlanta. I got to know Lucy through an organization I helped to found, called Everytown for Gun Safety. For those who don't know Lucy's story, her son Jordan was shot and killed back in 2012, by someone who thought he was playing his music too loud. It was just one of those senseless tragedies that happen too often across this country. Lucy, rather than just sitting back, decided to make sure that other parents didn't have to experience what she did. So she decided to do something about it – and we need to elect more leaders like her to Congress.

Yesterday I was in Aurora, Colorado to speak with survivors of gun violence who are fighting for smarter gun laws. I outlined what I will do as president to end the scourge of gun violence – like strengthening background checks and other commonsense gun laws that keep guns out of dangerous hands.

In the weeks ahead, I'll outline my plans on other key issues – including creating good jobs and fighting climate change. But more than plans, what I offer is the leadership to turn plans into reality.

America is at its best when we work together to find meaningful and lasting solutions to the big challenges that we face. I'm tired of this country being a place where we don't talk to each other. I'm tired that the left doesn't talk to the right. I'm tired that Republicans don't talk to Democrats. The blue doesn't talk to the red. We have a President who is not supposed to be the head of the party, but the head of the whole country, and he just doesn't get that. We have got to stop pulling people apart and start bringing them together – and that's what I will do.

As a child and a Boy Scout, I was taught to believe in the promise and potential of America, and in the openness of American Dream. I still believe in that ideal, but I have never been more worried about our country's future.

And that's why I decided to run – after having said a while ago that I wasn't going to run. But when I took a took at what was happening, and things were getting worse, and I didn't see others that I thought could beat Donald Trump, I said shame on me if I didn't have the courage to stand up and at least try. And I'm going to try, and I'm going to win.

I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and motivate people to come together – so we can rebuild America, and make it fairer and better.

I'm ready to get working – and I'm honored to have Mayor Davis' support.

Thank you all very much. Mr. Mayor, I'm indebted to you. I think you made the right decision, but in any case, I'm happy, my daughters will be happy, and I hope a lot of people will be happy. Your endorsement really means something. You know what it takes to make this a better country and a better world, and I'm honored, so thank you again.

Michael Bloomberg, Remarks in Augusta, Georgia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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