Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg brought his Super Tuesday-centric campaign to Salt Lake City on Saturday, speaking to a small, but standing-room-only, crowd in downtown Salt Lake City.
“I’m here for the jello!” said Bloomberg when he took the stage Saturday afternoon.
“Let me be clear, I am running to defeat Donald Trump in 2020,” Bloomberg told the small but vocal group of supporters who crowded into the Impact Hub building to hear him speak. “To rebuild America, we need to win the White House.”
Bloomberg is focusing his campaign on the 15 states and jurisdictions that will vote on Super Tuesday when approximately 40% of the Democratic delegates are up for grabs.
“I know you don’t get many presidential candidate visits to Utah unless they’re here for a fundraiser or going to Sundance,” said Bloomberg. “Utah has been ignored. We shouldn’t be writing off any state no matter how red it is, and Democrats have shown that they can win here.”
Bloomberg is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on television ads around the country, including nearly $1.5 million in Utah alone. That bid to raise his public profile among Democratic voters is starting to pay off. He has jumped to 5th place nationally in the Real Clear Politics polling average, hitting 7% support, trailing former VP Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. He is virtually tied with Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Bloomberg’s campaign has hired several staffers and opened an office in Downtown Salt Lake City, part of a campaign spending blitz that includes adding nearly 1,000 staffers across 30 states.
Former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker touted Bloomberg’s focus on environmental issues and climate change as one of the reasons he has thrown his support behind the former New York Mayor.
“Whoever serves as the next president, climate change has to be a priority,” said Becker. “Time is not on their side on this issue.”
Bloomberg made his pitch for attendees to join his campaign as volunteers, noting the ongoing effort to collect signatures to put the recently passed tax reform bill to a public vote in November.
“Many of you have valuable experience knocking on doors and taking a leap of faith,” he joked, noting the likely experience as a Mormon missionary many in the crowd likely possess.
Wrapping up, Bloomberg took direct aim at President Donald Trump and his social media habits.
“I’m running to get things done. I’m a doer. I’m a problem solver, not a problem creator. We need less talk, less partisanship and less tweeting. I will make you a promise, no tweeting,” he said to a loud cheer.
Bloomberg is the fifth Democratic hopeful to visit Utah during the 2020 election cycle. Sen. Elizabeth Warren touted her plan for public lands when she campaigned in Utah last April. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and former U.S. Rep. John Delaney also held campaign events in the state last year. Castro has since dropped out.
Former Vice President Joe Biden visited Utah in 2019, but only held a fundraising event in Park City.