Bloomberg hits Chicago to pitch jobs plan, blast Trump’s ‘empty promises,’ woo Lightfoot

Bloomberg met with Mayor Lori Lightfoot for about 45 minutes at a Chicago hotel, according to his campaign manager. A handful of other Democratic presidential hopefuls have already met with Lightfoot, seeking her support.

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Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, speaks during a rally at Olive-Harvey College on the Far South Side, Wednesday morning, Jan. 8, 2020.

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, speaks during a rally at Olive-Harvey College on the Far South Side, Wednesday morning, Jan. 8, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg came to Chicago Wednesday to pitch a hefty jobs plan and to vow to take President Donald Trump on with his own “all-in” economic fixes.

The former New York City mayor also made a pitch to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, seeking an endorsement from the Chicago Democrat, who has not given any public clues about her preferences in the crowded presidential field.

In a 25-minute speech before supporters at Olive-Harvey College on the Far South Side, the late entrant to an already packed Democratic primary race outlined what he called “candidate Trump’s empty promises,” while also criticizing the president’s handling of Iran.

Iran launched missile strikes late Tuesday against two Iraqi military bases in retaliation for the airstrike that killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani last week.

“In any crisis it’s imperative that the commander-in-chief think through all the implications of his actions or her actions with the help of her or his top advisors to not act irrationally or recklessly, and I certainly hope the president does that. But unfortunately, as we all know, that’s just not his nature,” Bloomberg said of Trump.

The billionaire philanthropist and businessman painted himself as the best candidate to create jobs, with a “concrete strategy for spreading good jobs and good pay to place where they don’t exist now.”

“I think we need to replace Donald Trump. He’s counting on the economy to lift him to victory and he’s hoping to face a career politician who’s never created any jobs,” Bloomberg said. “Well, let me tell you, I’m going to take him on over the economy and I won’t let him get away with selling the American people more empty promises.”

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, greets supporters after speaking at a rally at Olive-Harvey College on the Far South Side, Wednesday morning, Jan. 8, 2020.

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, greets supporters after speaking at a rally at Olive-Harvey College on the Far South Side, Wednesday morning, Jan. 8, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Among those “empty promises,” Bloomberg said Trump promised to deliver to the middle-class—yet passed the country’s biggest tax cut that helped to benefit “people who did not need it, like me.”

Bloomberg’s “all-in” economic plan includes raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and expanding the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit. Bloomberg said while the stock market remains at an all time high, “almost half the country doesn’t own any stocks.” He called that “not fair.”

Bloomberg said his plan starts with a basic premise: “the federal government is grossly underinvesting in America and Americans.” He touted his work in New York City in rebuilding areas that were experiencing industrial declines; focusing on creating jobs in neighborhoods outside of Manhattan and building new infrastructure where it didn’t exist.

Bloomberg said the country must build an “all-in-economy” — where all Americans benefit from good jobs and rising incomes.

“I know we can do that. Why? Because we did it in New York City in the 12 years I was mayor. And I want to help all communities all across the country enjoy it as well. I know how to create jobs and build businesses, not because I played a business leader on a TV show but because I’ve actually been one in real life.”

Bloomberg, the 8th-richest person in the nation, according to Forbes, said his first paycheck was $9,000 a year, a job he held for 15 years before getting fired. He joked that his family didn’t know anyone in the newspaper unless they were in the crime or obituary sections.

Trump is ranked the 275th richest American by Forbes, behind Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who is in the No. 250 spot.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left; President Donald Trump, right. File Photos.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left; President Donald Trump, right. File Photos.

John L. Alexander/For the Sun-Times; Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Bloomberg also traveled to Wells, Minnesota and Akron, Ohio on Wednesday.

Bloomberg met with Mayor Lori Lightfoot for about 45 minutes at a Chicago hotel prior to the Far South Side event, according to his campaign manager Kevin Sheekey. Bloomberg planned to ask Lightfoot for her endorsement, he said.

A handful of other Democratic presidential hopefuls have already met with Lightfoot, seeking her support.

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