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Democratic Presidential Candidate Michael Bloomberg Campaigns In Vermont

Michael Bloomberg speaks to a crowd in Burlington, Vermont
Pat Bradley/WAMC
Democrat Michael Bloomberg speaks to a crowd in Burlington, Vermont

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg was in Burlington, Vermont on Monday.  He told supporters and the curious that he is the only candidate who can defeat incumbent Republican President Donald Trump this November.

The former mayor of New York City stopped in Burlington to meet with local officials and hold a small rally at the ECHO Leahy Science Center on the shore of Lake Champlain. More than 270 people crowded into the venue, causing organizers to scramble to find overflow rooms.  Vermont campaign organizer Christopher Di Mezzo welcomed the crowd and urged them to volunteer.  “Mike is the first presidential candidate this cycle to hold a public event here in Burlington. But that's because Mike is running a different kind of campaign. He's going places people aren't listening to voices that aren't usually heard.”

After Bloomberg took the stage he explained why he came to Vermont.  “Somebody said why are you going up to Vermont; there aren’t a lot of delegates coming from there? And I said wait a second. I'm here to do two things, one to replace Donald Trump and two to pull this country together. And it seemed like a prerequisite if you're going to pull people together to sort of include everybody.”

Later, Bloomberg told reporters why he is focusing on Super Tuesday states like Vermont.  “I'm not competing in the first four early states because first I’d said I wasn't going to run and then changed my mind because I didn't like what the candidates were doing in terms of their policies. And I didn't think they could beat Donald Trump. So I decided, OK, I'm gonna run, least I can do. And going in it was too late to mount a campaign in any of those four states. I wasn't going to be able to compete and so I thought I would spend all my time working on all of the other states in the country. And nobody is going to the other states except two people: myself and Donald Trump. And if you want to replace Donald Trump maybe you might want to visit these states and make the case as to why you're better than Donald Trump.”

Bloomberg outlined a number of his successes during his 12 years as mayor of NYC and some of his campaign priorities including the opioid crisis and climate change. A key theme is unity.  “We need to do more than just win in November. We need to unite this country and to bring people together and to start getting big things done. And my whole career I have been a doer and a problem solver. I believe we need less talk. We need less partisanship, we need less division. And in fact we need less tweeting.  I don’t just point fingers. I think we've all had enough of that from President Trump. And we've had him too much dividing us by race and religion and economics and all of those things. We need to bring this country together.”

Bloomberg offered stark contrasts between himself and President Trump and told the crowd he’s the only candidate who can beat the incumbent.   “I think the contrast between Donald Trump and me couldn't be any clearer. I have billed myself as the Un-Trump. He breaks promises and I keep them. He's a climate denier. And I was trained as an engineer and I actually believe in science. Imagine that. And I'm going to do and whatever it takes to beat him.”

When Bloomberg entered the presidential campaign in November, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is also a Democratic presidential candidate, accused him of attempting to buy the election. Bloomberg scoffs at the thought.  "I’m spending my money to try to replace Donald Trump and when I ask people is that a good idea they say yes spend more. Bernie Sanders is a local favorite I'm sure. But what I'm trying to do is to replace Donald Trump and to reunite this country and it costs money to get things out."

Reporter:  “Why not rely on small donations from…”

Bloomberg: “Because I don't take any money from anybody.”

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg's full speech in Burlington, Vermont

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