Bloomberg in Atlanta: 'I am the un-Trump'

Riley Bunch

The Atlanta Drumline Academy opened and closed Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg's kickoff organizing event in Atlanta on Friday.

ATLANTA — Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg told an Atlanta crowd Friday there needs to be “less partisanship, less divisions and less tweeting” in American politics.

The former New York mayor addressed about 150 people at the Westside Cultural Arts Center at a kickoff organizing event — the latest Democratic presidential candidate to travel to Georgia.

With the Peach State having hosted a Democratic presidential debate and various candidate events, Bloomberg said the political world thinks Georgia is turning more purple.

“I know a lot of people think Georgia is a red state,” he said, “but not me, I believe Georgia is a swing state.”

His campaign, he said, will have a presence in Georgia until November.

Bloomberg also spoke Friday morning at a voting rights summit hosted by Fair Fight. The billionaire donated $5 million to the voting rights group launched by Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

The voting rights summit was an invitation-only event and closed to most press. According to a press release, Democratic operatives and state party staff from across the country held training sessions. Speakers included Abrams, Bloomberg and voting rights attorney Marc Elias.

At the summit, Bloomberg unveiled a voting rights policy that centers on the Voting Rights Act — renewed just recently by the House — and requires states to conduct automatic voter registration.

The policy also blocks states from purging voters based on inactivity, and restores voting rights to individuals with felony convictions, Bloomberg said at his rally.

“After all, state agencies already know who's 18 years and older, and why does the government have to force you to fill out another form, that makes no sense to me,” Bloomberg said. “And correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Republicans were in favor of reducing needless government regulation."

Bloomberg mentioned his support for Democratic U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights icon, and said “if anyone can beat cancer, it is him.”

“There is no one alive in America today who's done more to lead the fight for equal rights and voting rights than he has,” Bloomberg said, “and he would be the first to say the fight is not over — far from it.”

Bloomberg made a point to note his similarities to President Donald Trump — a billionaire businessman — but spent a good portion of his speech arguing how they are different.

Bloomberg is a climate-change believer, built his companies from the ground up and ultimately tells the truth, he said.

Bloomberg said back in 2018 he supported Democratic congressional candidates such as Lucy McBath in Georgia who helped flip the House and who hold Trump accountable.

“The contrast between Donald Trump and me, I don’t think can be any clearer,” he said. “It’s true we are both from New York, but other than that, I am the ‘un-Trump.’”

Riley Bunch covers the Georgia Statehouse for CNHI’s newspapers and websites.

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