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In New Hampshire, Bloomberg Takes Aim At Trump - And 2020 Democrats

josh rogers / nhpr

In Manchester, New Hampshire, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg told a packed room at St. Anselm College that President Trump was a failure in business and is a failure in government.

“To me, the government shutdown was an utter failure of executive leadership, and it's an example of just totally incompetent management that needlessly hurt millions of people.”

Bloomberg's putative focus was climate change. He said action is needed. It should be ambitious, he said, but realistic.

"I'm a little bit tired of listening to things that we are never going to pass or never going to afford. I think it’s just disingenuous to promote those things."

Bloomberg didn't cite specific climate polices he sees that way. But later, when talking to reporters after touring a factory in Nashua, he did dismiss proposals on other issues backed by his potential Democratic rivals.

California Senator Kamala Harris's plan to replace employer-based health insurance? According to Bloomberg, that would bankrupt the country.  As for tuition-free college - which many Democratic candidates say they support - Bloomberg calls that totally impractical. And as for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren's plan to impose a tax on wealth? Billionaire Bloomberg says it's probably not constitutional.

"We need a healthy economy that's healthy and we should not be embarrassed by our system. if you want to look at a system that's not capitalistic just take a look at what was perhaps the most wealthy country in the world and today people are starving to death. It's called Venezuela," he said.

Bloomberg says he plans on making a decision whether to get into the presidential race in the next month or so. He considered running as an independent four years ago, a move he said he scuttled when he concluded it would lead to Donald Trump getting elected. 

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.
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