1. Mid of former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg entering room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Bloomberg, Former NYC Mayor:
"The shutdown has been going on for 35 days and nearly all of you have seen the effects in your cities and towns. Can you imagine shutting down your city governments for 35 days. Inconceivable."
3. Wide of Bloomberg speaking
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Bloomberg, Former NYC Mayor:
"And as bad as all this has been and it is really bad. Imagine what would happen at the local level if we shut down. The garbage would pile up and schools and libraries would close, after school programs and day care centers closed, businesses couldn't get permits to open, families couldn't get access to benefits? Need to call 911 to report a crime or a fire or a heart attack. Good luck."
5. Cutaway of audience
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Bloomberg, Former NYC Mayor:
"In government the buck stops at the executive's desk. That's true at the local level as all of you know. But let's not also forget it is true at the federal level. Mayors could never get away with closing the government. And I don't believe we should let this president get away with it either."
Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, is opening the door to a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, warning that the current field of candidates is ill equipped to defeat President Donald Trump.
Bloomberg, who initially ruled out a 2020 run, has not made a final decision on whether to jump into the race. If he were to launch a campaign, it could dramatically reshape the Democratic contest less than three months before primary voting begins.
The 77-year-old has spent the past few weeks talking with prominent Democrats about the state of the 2020 field, expressing concerns about the steadiness of former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign and the rise of liberal Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, according to people with knowledge of those discussions. In recent days, he took steps to keep his options open, including moving to get on the primary ballot in Alabama ahead of the state's Friday filing deadline.
In a statement on Thursday, Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said the former mayor believes Trump "represents an unprecedented threat to our nation" and must be defeated.
With immense personal wealth, Bloomberg could quickly build out a robust campaign operation across the country. Still, his advisers acknowledge that his late entry to the race could make competing in states like Iowa and New Hampshire, which have been blanketed by candidates for nearly a year, difficult. Instead, they previewed a strategy that would focus more heavily on the March 3 "Super Tuesday" contests, including in delegate-rich California.
Municipal governments , Local governments , Government and politics , Campaigns , Elections , 2020 United States presidential election , United States general election , 2020 United States presidential election , United States presidential election , Presidential elections , National elections , General elections
Elizabeth Warren , Joe Biden , Donald Trump , Howard Wolfson , Michael Bloomberg
District of Columbia , United States , North America