Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said Monday that the billionaire and former New York City mayor has opted to run for the White House because he believes President Donald Trump is presently on a “path to victory” in 2020.
“Mike is getting in this race because he thinks that Donald Trump is an existential crisis and he thinks he’s on a path to victory and he’s getting in to alter that dynamic,” Sheekey told CNN. Bloomberg’s campaign chief offered a full-throated defense for the newly-minted candidate choosing to ignore early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, arguing the general election is decided by Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
“You can say it’s never been done before, but you also have to say is no one’s ever tried it before,” he said of the plan.
2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg’s campaign manager on their strategy to win the Democratic primary: “We’re going to talk to everyone in the country at once and we’re particularly going to overtalk to those people who need to vote in those swing states.” https://t.co/5szyaN1tjA pic.twitter.com/0ynoDbbQIN
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) November 25, 2019
“That’s the whole general election. And right now Donald Trump is winning, he is winning that election. It’s very tough for who people don’t live in New York or California to understand that, but that is what’s happening,” he stated.
Ending weeks of speculation, the 77-year-old former Republican announced his candidacy Sunday in a written statement posted on a campaign website describing himself as uniquely positioned to defeat President Donald Trump. He will quickly follow with a massive advertising campaign blanketing airways in key primary states across the U.S.
“I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America,” Bloomberg wrote.
“We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions,” he continued. “He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage.”
Bloomberg’s entrance comes just ten weeks before primary voting begins, an unorthodox move that reflects anxiety within the Democratic Party about the strength of its current candidates.
As a centrist with deep ties to Wall Street, Bloomberg is expected to struggle among the party’s energized progressive base. He became a Democrat only last year. Yet his tremendous resources and moderate profile could be appealing in a primary contest that has become, above all, a quest to find the person best-positioned to deny Trump a second term next November.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.