Phoenix — In his second day on the campaign trail, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stood in strong contrast to many of his Democratic rivals in the presidential race. He criticized not only their campaign strategies but their policies.
He spent Tuesday in Arizona — a state President Trump won in 2016 — where he said “you don’t often see presidential candidates.”
“The fact is, President Trump is about the only one who’s spending any money here and in some of the other swing states around the country,” Bloomberg told reporters. “That’s a big problem for our party, and I am determined to change exactly that.”
He sees a chance for Democrats to flip the state if they make it a priority, just as he is.
The move to start in Arizona comes as Bloomberg is taking the path less traveled in the presidential race. He will not appear on the ballot in some early-voting states, such as New Hampshire, and he has hinted that he will not compete in other early states like Iowa.
Arizona has also been a focus of Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC seeking to mobilize Latinos in Arizona and Florida.
Bloomberg also doubled down on his opposition to “Medicare for All” and a wealth tax.
Fellow billionaire Tom Steyer has urged Bloomberg to support a wealth tax, but Bloomberg said other countries have failed to show it can be successful.
On health care, Bloomberg called Medicare for All — which is supported in some form by most of the Democratic candidates — “a solution to the problem.” He said it’s better to tweak Obamacare and “restore some of the cuts that were taken away.” Former Vice President Joe Biden has a similar stance.
“Medicare for All would destroy our hospital system. Doctors wouldn’t be able to make enough money to pay off their loans,” he said. “People want to keep their private plans.”
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