Bloomberg discusses Arkansas message; plans for infrastructure, taxes

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 1,053 views 

Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, the former New York City Mayor, made his third trip to Arkansas last week appearing at a rally in Bentonville. Sitting atop a Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College Poll in early February, Bloomberg said there’s two reasons why his message is resonating with Arkansas voters.

“One, I can beat Trump. Two, I can do the job. And I can beat Trump,” said Bloomberg, who appeared on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics. “I know him well from New York, I’ve beaten him on a number of things. We’ve gone head to head on different issues. I know how he thinks and I know how I can convince people from moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats to come together and replace him.”

“In terms of doing the job, I was mayor for 12 years of the largest, most progressive city in the country. 300,000 employees, 8.4 million people. I know how to do this job. And it isn’t exactly the same as being president, but if you can handle the diplomatic issues in New York City and the job issues in New York City and the technology issues in New York City, and all these things, you can do it for the country,” Bloomberg added.

Bloomberg had a narrow lead among three other Democratic Presidential contenders in Arkansas in the Feb. 6-7 poll. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who handily won Saturday’s South Carolina primary, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg were all within four percentage points of Bloomberg.

An issue of huge importance to Arkansas voters is infrastructure. Bloomberg has put forth a $1 trillion infrastructure package to rebuild roads, rail lines, energy projects and broadband. He said it will require leadership to make this happen and he expects to roll back part of the 2017 GOP tax break to fund it.

“I raised taxes in New York City and we put an enormous amount of money in infrastructure. We rebuilt all the bridges in the city, did a new water tunnel, which cost a fortune and took forever. Built a new subway, we repaved 6,000 miles of roads. So I know how to do it, I know how to track people who can do this stuff. And you have to, the taxpayers gotta step up and pay for it,” he said.

“It’d be nice if you could get federal money, but you can’t necessarily. In this case, nationally, you can. I thought that the tax cut that was passed by this administration was wrong. I thought the tax cut for corporations was too much, but you should’ve been some to keep us competitive. But the tax cut for the wealthy, I didn’t need a tax cut. We did need that money for infrastructure. And without that money, this country has a real problem,” Bloomberg added.

While he is playing for a Super Tuesday delegate strategy – Bloomberg hasn’t appeared on the ballot in the early voting states – he’s cautious with advice on when he or others should exit the race.

“If you go through March and if you have a very low number delegates and one or two candidates have very large numbers, then the math makes sense to drop out. But otherwise, you have responsibilities to the team that you put together and you’re paying. You have responsibilities to the voters that voted for you,” Bloomberg said.

“I’ve been in a lot of competitions over my life where I was way behind and always seemed to come and win. And you’re not going to win every time, but I’ve got the courage to go ahead,” he added.

You can watch Bloomberg’s full Talk Business & Politics interview below.