As Bloomberg Mulls Entering 2020 Race, Warren Draws His Attention to Her Wealth Tax Calculator

Patrick Goodenough | November 7, 2019 | 8:41pm EST
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Michael Bloomberg. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
Michael Bloomberg. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

( – Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire who won three terms as New York City mayor as a Republican, is considering a late entry into the Democratic 2020 presidential primary, after ruling out a run earlier this year.

The New York Times was first to report that Bloomberg was actively considering filing to get onto the Alabama primary. The deadline for registration is 5 PM on Friday.

Howard Wolfson, a Bloomberg advisor, then posted a series of tweets, stopping short of confirming a run, but laying out a rationale for one – including Bloomberg’s worry that the current field of Democratic candidates is “not well positioned” to defeat President Trump.

Bloomberg, Wolfson wrote, “believes that Donald Trump represents an unprecedented threat to our nation.”

He recalled that Bloomberg had warned against a Trump presidency during the 2016 Democratic Convention, and had “spent more than $100 million to help elect Democrats” to Congress in 2018.

“And this year he helped Democrats win control of both houses of the Virginia legislature.

“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated – but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that.”

“If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist.”

“Based on his record of accomplishment, leadership and his ability to bring people together to drive change, Mike would be able to take the fight to Trump and win,” added Wolfson, who served as deputy NYC mayor during Bloomberg’s third term.

“Really? Another one?” commented Republican National Committee spokesman Steve Guest in response to the news. “The fact that Michael Bloomberg feels the need to run for president underscores the weak Democrat field and shows that Democrats know they can’t compete with President Trump in 2020.”

“Welcome to the race, Mike Bloomberg!” tweeted 2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

“If you're looking for policy plans that will make a huge difference for working people and which are very popular, start here,” she said, adding a link to her campaign’s “wealth tax” calculator.

Forbes names Bloomberg, with a net worth of $55.5 billion, as the ninth richest person in the world. According to Warren’s calculator, someone with that among of money would pay $3.259 billion under her proposed super-rich tax.

Bloomberg, now 77, was a Democrat before registering as a Republican in 2001 ahead of his first mayoral run. He later left the GOP and became an independent. Last October he re-registered as a Democrat – “because,” he wrote in an Instagram post announcing the move, “we need Democrats to provide the checks and balance our nation so badly needs.”

He was viewed as a possible presidential contender in 2008, 2012, and 2016 but did not enter those races, and in the 2016 campaign endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Bloomberg considered running for the 2020 nomination, but announced in an op-ed last March that he had decided not to do so, in favor of focusing on other issues. At the top of the list was “Beyond Carbon,” a project he described as “a grassroots effort to begin moving America as quickly as possible away from oil and gas and toward a 100 percent clean energy economy.”

In that same column, Bloomberg expressed confidence that he would beat Trump in a general election.

“But I am clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field,” he added.

Since then, the large field has shed a few candidates, among them Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, and Bill de Blasio, who succeeded Bloomberg as NYC mayor.

Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead in the polls, although his third-quarter fundraising lagged behind that of Warren and fellow populist Sen. Bernie Sanders. Even South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg outraised Biden.

In the current Real Clear Politics polling average, Biden continues to lead the race with 28.3 percent, followed by Warren at 20.6 percent and Sanders at 17.6 percent. Next up is Buttigieg at 7 percent, with the rest of the field below 5 percent each.

Bloomberg was appointed U.N. “special envoy on cities and climate change” in 2014, and last year was named the world body’s “special envoy for climate action.”

A year ago former Secretary of State John Kerry, who like Bloomberg is an ardent climate campaigner, described him – in the context of a possible 2020 presidential run – as “terrific” on guns, climate change and inclusivity.

At 77, Bloomberg is seven years older than Warren, one year older than Biden, and five months younger than Sanders. He is four years older than the president.


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