Bloomberg made a late entry into the 2020 Democratic race in November 2019, offering a more moderate vision for the country and casting himself as a problem solver. He served as New York City’s mayor from 2002 to 2013 and is the co-founder, CEO, and owner of Bloomberg L.P., a privately-held financial, software, data, and media company.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld on Wednesday said he filed for the New Hampshire Republican primary and is now on the ballot in the first-in-the-nation primary state. Weld is running a longshot bid against President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, and is polling at 1% nationally with registered Republican voters. "It's official! On the ballot for the First in the Nation primary. Thanks to all the great supporters who joined us, and looking forward to taking our campaign to every corner of New Hampshire," Weld tweeted. There is little support in New Hampshire for Republican primary challengers to the President, according to a CNN/UNH October poll. The vast majority of Republican primary voters in the state (86%) said they would vote for Trump if the primary were held today, and 5% said they would support Weld. The poll shows 1% would support former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois or former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. Sanford suspended his candidacy on Tuesday. Weld has some national name recognition from when he was the vice presidential nominee on the Libertarian ticket in 2016 with former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. He was governor of New Hampshire's neighbor, Massachusetts, from 1991 to 1997, and won reelection with more than 70% of the vote. Weld is a fierce critic of Trump, who is facing an impeachment inquiry, and told CNN in a phone interview this fall that the President is "increasingly losing it, almost week by week." He supports impeaching the President. "It's time to plant a flag," Weld told CNN, on why he launched a presidential bid. "Otherwise I'm right there with everyone else saying 'Gee, I love the emperor's new clothes.' This emperor doesn't have any new clothes." Weld ran for Senate in Massachusetts in 1996, losing to John Kerry. He later moved to New York and in 2005 unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination there for governor.
Bloomberg said, if elected, he would make climate a top priority. The US would rejoin the Paris climate accord, the landmark 2015 global agreement on global warming targets. He has said he wants the US to create a clean energy economy and has vowed to create renewable energy jobs. Previously, he worked as the UN secretary-general’s special envoy for climate action, and he has worked with cities, states and businesses to address the climate crisis.
Bloomberg has vowed to create a housing proposal and an earned income tax credit to provide economic opportunity for all Americans. His housing proposal would expand funding for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and would increase federal spending for programs like the Public Housing Capital Fund, the HOME program and Community Development Block Grants. He proposes revising the Earned Income Tax Credit and raising the incomes of low-wage workers. By 2025, he wants to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Bloombergwrote in an op-ed in December 2017 that, in order to achieve revenue-neutral tax restructuring, he was in favor of reducing the 35% corporate tax rate. He criticized President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul as an “economically indefensible blunder that will harm our future.”
Bloomberg would make it a top national priority to increase student achievement, college preparedness and career readiness. He says he leads national efforts to increase the number of lower-income students enrolled in top colleges, and that as mayor, he strengthened standards and created more quality school options. He says he increased graduation rates, increased the education budget and opened new schools. While he was mayor of New York, a state law placed the New York public school system under mayoral control. Bloomberg supported the move, and used the power to open new schools, champion charter schools and close poor-performing schools. He was often at odds with the United Federation of Teachers.
In 2014, Bloomberg pledged to spend $50 million to build a nationwide grassroots network to combat the National Rifle Association. He founded the umbrella group Everytown for Gun Safety, which brought together groups he already funded: Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. A goal of the groups was to try to “expand the background check system for gun buyers both at the state and national levels,” according to The New York Times. If elected, Bloomberg says, he would continue to back common-sense gun policies. More on Bloomberg’s gun violence policy
Bloomberg said the US should expand Obamacare and Medicare in order to achieve universal coverage. His campaign website reads: “As a mayor, businessman, and philanthropist, Mike has pioneered bold health initiatives that have cleaned the air we breathe, expanded access to prenatal and postnatal care, increased screenings for breast and prostate cancer, dramatically cut teen smoking, and reduced injuries and deaths on roads.” Bloomberg said “Medicare for All” would “bankrupt us for a very long time,” The New York Times reported in January 2019. “I think you could never afford that. You’re talking about trillions of dollars,” he said of the single-payer health plan. As mayor, Bloomberg pushed for New York City to ban smoking in all restaurants and bars and for big soft drinks to be banned.
Bloomberg founded New American Economy, a pro-immigration coalition of business leaders and mayors that aims to reach the public and policymakers. In 2018, the group targeted senators with a TV and phone campaign to urge them to protect so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children.
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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue calls coronavirus a 'pandemic'
Updated 12:51 AM ET, Sat Feb 29, 2020
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday called the coronavirus a "pandemic," using a term that has not been used by the White House or government health agencies as the Trump administration struggles to stay on message in response to the virus' outbreak. "Hopefully we can get past this coronavirus pandemic very quickly and get back to the trade," Perdue said while speaking to farmers at the Commodity Classic conference in San Antonio, according to audio of his remarks obtained by CNN. The secretary's use of the word is out of sync with the official message from the Trump administration, which has sought to downplay fears of a pandemic. Global health officials have not labeled the virus' outbreak a pandemic, either. All public messaging on the coronavirus is supposed to be cleared by Vice President Mike Pence's office, an attempt to get the Trump administration on the same page after administration officials blamed a series of mixed messages from senior officials earlier in the week for critical media coverage. Pence is leading the administration's efforts to combat the coronavirus. The basis for Perdue's use of the term is unclear. CNN has reached out to the Department of Agriculture for clarification but has not yet heard back. The White House is declining to comment. "I know the coronavirus has all of us sort of concerned right now over the impact globally," Perdue said during his remarks in San Antonio, according to the audio recording. "The markets have had a big impact on stock and commodity markets based on the potential threat of coronavirus. Once again I'm proud of the President and Vice President Pence for their preemptive action in helping to keep us safe while not panicking about this. I think you all need to go about your jobs in the way that you have been, producing safe, reliable, abundant food for all of us in that way, that's the best thing we could do -- is go back and do what you've been doing." He later continued, "The virus, just because of logistics, airports have been jammed and people not getting to work but (inaudible) we're seeing the dribble back now. We're seeing some evidence of unloading taking place and hopefully we can get past this coronavirus pandemic very quickly and get back to the trade." President Donald Trump briefly alluded to the virus as a possible pandemic Thursday during a meeting with African American leaders, saying, "I know politics. And, you know, politics is fine. But when it comes time to talk about pandemics or whatever you may want to call it, you got to get away from politics." On Friday, Trump appeared at the conference via video message ahead of Perdue's remarks, according to a video posted on Twitter by an attendee. Officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said they expect the novel coronavirus will spread within American communities. "It's not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said this week. Still, global health officials maintain the coronavirus is an outbreak or an epidemic, which means more than a normal number cases of an illness in a community or region. "If we say there's pandemic of coronavirus, we're essentially accepting that every human on the planet will be exposed to that virus," said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization's Health Emergencies Programme, during a news conference on Friday. "The data does not support that as yet."