Former New York Metropolis Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent the week campaigning in a number of Tremendous Tuesday states, whereas different candidates concentrate on Nevada and South Carolina.
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
Mike Bloomberg is operating for president, however he isn’t on the poll till subsequent month. The previous mayor of New York is skipping the competition in February, trying to make a run on the Democratic nomination when the voting expands nationwide in March. NPR nationwide political correspondent Don Gonyea has been touring with Bloomberg this week as he is courted voters and addressed some robust controversies. Hello, Don.
DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Hello, there.
FADEL: So inform us the place you have been this week with Bloomberg and what is the technique behind the place he is spending his time.
GONYEA: OK. This is the record – Tennessee, Chattanooga and Nashville; North Carolina, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Raleigh; then Texas, two occasions, each of them in Houston, each of them massive. Three of the 14 states that may vote on March 3, Tremendous Tuesday. And his purpose is to make a giant splash that day, firmly set up himself as a contender, a top-tier contender but additionally to start out constructing a relationship with voters, nationally.
And as for the issues he is been addressing – one of many issues that’s key about that is he is operating towards Donald Trump already. He is not operating towards all the opposite Democrats within the discipline. And as a part of that, he’s difficult Trump straight. And Trump has seen already. Trump tweeted at him. Trump insulted him. Trump insulted his peak. Bloomberg tweeted proper again, calling Trump a carnival barking clown. After which he talked about it at his rallies. This one’s in Raleigh.
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MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Look. Everyone knows Trump is a bully, however I understand how to cope with bullies. I come from New York identical to him. And I am not afraid of Donald Trump. And he is aware of it, and that is why he retains tweeting about me. Thanks, Donald. Hold sending it in. I adore it.
FADEL: OK. So we’re listening to a very supportive rally there. However Bloomberg’s been confronted over feedback about legislation enforcement practices, lending practices that drawback black People. Apart from the problems of equity and justice, African American voters are vital in democratic politics. So how has he dealt with this?
GONYEA: It is attention-grabbing. He addresses it with out explaining it. He would not take us inside his head on what he was considering with that 2015 speech and the tape that emerged this week, the place he appears to be talking, positively, about racial profiling and about sending police into minority neighborhoods. However, publicly, he has apologized, you understand, broadly, for being a supporter of stop-and-frisk so lengthy.
However here is the opposite factor he is doing. He talks about all the things he did as mayor and all the things he is completed as a philanthropist for the African American neighborhood, engaged on faculties, engaged on, you understand, housing and lending and issues like that. And he has been rolling out the endorsements from Congressional Black Caucus members and from outstanding big-city mayors. And considered one of them is Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. He spoke at a giant occasion for African People in Houston this week. He stated he has heard what he wanted from Michael Bloomberg on these points. After which hearken to what else he stated.
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SYLVESTER TURNER: Now, I did not discover a good particular person, however I discovered somebody who I consider, if we stand collectively, can unite a divided nation and take us the place we should be.
FADEL: So it looks like wherever I look, there’s Bloomberg – TV commercials, Web memes, a number of stuff the place we do not hear straight from him. What’s he like in particular person, with voters? How do they reply to him?
GONYEA: , he is sort of low-key on the stump. He is not notably a pure. And also you watch him work the rope line and shake palms. It is fairly fast, and it feels fairly cursory. However voters are turning out. These occasions are crowded, and they’re clearly on the lookout for one thing, even when they’re nonetheless undecided. Hearken to this man I met in Winston-Salem, N.C. His identify is Michael Day (ph).
MICHAEL DAY: I like Amy Klobuchar. I like Mayor Pete. However I do not assume both can beat President Trump.
GONYEA: So they simply need to win. And this man was holding an indication that mainly says – how do you beat a corrupt New York businessman? You beat him with an sincere New York businessman. In order that’s sort of the tone for lots of people.
FADEL: Again to that concept of electability. NPR’s Don Gonyea, thanks a lot.
GONYEA: It is my pleasure.
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