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Governor Raimondo endorses Mike Bloomberg for President

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Mike Bloomberg is everything President Trump isn’t,” said Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo. “He’s facts over fiction. He’s a doer, not a talker… He’s a uniter, not a divider. He’s a pragmatist, not a partisan. And he brings calm, confident, steady leadership, not hysteria…


Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo today endorsed former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg for President and announced that she has joined his campaign as a co-chair. She delivered the news at the Wexford Innovation Center, and introduced Bloomberg to the audience of around 300 people.

Here’s what she said:

“Thank you all for being here. We had about 12 hours to put this together, so Rhode Island, thank you for showing up and delivering for Mike Bloomberg. You know, when the announcement went out yesterday that Mike was coming today, I got a handful of messages and texts from people saying, “Do you know Bloomberg’s coming? Are you going to be there?

“I said, yes, not only am I here, I’m here to announce that I am endorsing Mike for President, I am joining his campaign as a co-chair, and I am the first Governor in America to back Mike Bloomberg for President.

“Listen, there are a lot of good people running for President and I know many of them. They’re good and they’re honorable. But here’s the deal. The stakes are too high in this election. We need to get behind somebody who is a fighter, who has a track record of getting things done, and who can win in November against Donald Trump.


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“And you know what? There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind, that Mike’s that candidate. Absolutely no doubt. You want to know why? He’s the only one running who’s actually run something. He’s run a major company and he’s run the most complex, biggest city in America.

“He’s taken on the toughest fights. He’ll take on anybody. He’s not afraid of anybody. He Takes on the NRA and passes gun control. He takes on coal interests and fossil fuels, he’ll take on special interests and the status quo.

“And I know his intentions and his heart are in the right place. I’ve asked him. We’ve talked a lot. Mike, why are you doing this? You know, you don’t need to do this. It’s hard. It’s risky. Getting in late makes it harder. He looks at me and says, Gina, I’m doing it for my country, I’m doing it for my family and I’m doing it out of a sense of duty because this country needs a leader. So truthfully, when he asked me for his support, for me, it was an easy call. It was an easy call because he stands above the other candidates.

“I want to share a few more things. As I said before, he delivers. You know, I’m a governor, I know what it’s like to have to deliver. It’s not just talking about policies. You have to get things done. Mike delivers. He has a track record of delivering. He doesn’t make pie in the sky promises. He took over as Mayor after 911. The city was devastated and he led. He jumped in there with confidence. He talked to people, he listened, and he led a resurgence in their economy and their infrastructure that the city’s never seen. And look at that city now. He delivered and he delivered on what matters to people: jobs, infrastructure, healthcare. At the end of the day, that’s what the American people want. As Mayor of New York, he created a half a million jobs. By the way, in the state of a million people that sounds big…

“He cut the uninsured rate by 40 percent. That saves lives. And he cut the City’s carbon footprint by 14 percent. I know how hard it is to deliver results like that in government. You have to know when to fight. You have to know when to collaborate. You have to get that great people to work for you. And he’s done it all.

“And frankly, he’ll stand up to President Trump. Mike Bloomberg is everything President Trump isn’t. He’s facts over fiction. He’s a doer, not a talker. In fact, I think of you not as a politician, but as a doer, and that’s a compliment coming from a politician. He’s a uniter, not a divider. He’s a pragmatist, not a partisan. And he brings calm, confident, steady leadership, not hysteria.

“And he’s a real successful businessman. He did not grow up with a silver spoon. He grew up like you and I: middle class family, busted his tail, worked his way through college, started a business in a one room office and is one of the best, if not the best entrepreneurs and businessmen in a generation

“He employs 20,000 people.

“You know what? He’s made me a better governor. I’m with him because America needs leadership and he can win in November, but on a personal level, he’s my friend and he’s made me a better governor. You know why? I call him a lot for advice. And those of you who are Rhode Islanders know we face our fair share of challenges here in Rhode Island. I call him, I say, Mike, how would you handle this? How would you deal with that? You know what he says every single time? What do you think is the right thing to do? What’s going to deliver results for Rhode Islanders? What will make the schools better? What will create more jobs? What will help the opioid crisis? You know, all the times I’ve called him, he’s never said to me, What’s the best political decision for you? That is who you want in the White House.

Senators Erin Lynch Prata (Democrat, District 31, Warwick, Cranston), Leonidas Raptakis (Democrat, District 33, East Greenwich) and Gayle Goldin (Democrat, District 3, Providence) were at the event, as was former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino.

“You want, I want, someone in the White House with that level of integrity and determination and focus and track record on delivering results for people when it matters. That’s what we need. I don’t know if anyone watched the State of the Union last night, if you were able to get the whole way through, but we have to get this done. We have to get this done. The Trump administration is turning a blind eye to gun violence. Mike has helped build a movement to take on the NRA and deliver.

“The Trump Administration ignores climate change. Mike’s worked with cities, states and businesses to keep our country moving forward toward a clean energy future.

“The Trump administration offers empty promises about how they’re going to bring back old line manufacturing. Mike has a track record of transforming New York City’s economy to make it more vibrant and make sure everybody has a job with a good wage in that new economy.

“So for me this comes down to who’s going to deliver for Rhode Island and who’s going to deliver for America. That’s what we need to ask ourselves. Now, I want to end with a quote from Mike from the 2016 Democratic Convention. When he addressed the convention he said, “Over the course of our country’s proud history, we’ve faced our share of grave challenges, but we’ve never retreated in fear. Never. Today, my friends, we face grave challenges in America. We will not retreat in fear.” I will not retreat in fear. Mike is not retreating in fear. We have an obligation to do our duty to this country, to step up behind a leader who will lead us forward. So today I’m here to ask you to put your faith and your trust and your time, and your energy, in Mike Bloomberg, because he will be our next President. And he’s someone who can lead this country without fear, with confidence and optimism, and restore the American dream. So please join me in welcoming Mike Bloomberg.”

Mike Bloomberg also spoke, of course, and here’s the video. During his speech Bllomberg was interrupted several times by people in the audience. At least five people were escorted out of the venue by security. The most trenchant comments were about Bloomberg’s support of the controversial and racist stop and frisk policy, held over and expanded from Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s terms in office, and NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim Communities under his leadership.

Bloomberg meeting the crowd:


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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com