CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Democratic Presidential Candidate Michael Bloomberg was in Uptown Charlotte Sunday to open up his first field office for his 2020 Presidential campaign. Bloomberg got into the race just a few weeks ago. He says he has no regrets entering the race late. He says he had to - he started to question the other Democratic candidates.
“I thought that they would be able to beat Donald Trump,” Presidential Candidate Michael Bloomberg said. “And then over the next three or four months - I looked and said I don’t think Donald Trump would be hard to beat and I didn’t think any of them could beat him.”
Bloomberg says he is not really concerned about the early primaries in four states starting in February. He says he’d rather focus on voters in the more than 12 states who head to the polls in March to cast a ballot on Super Tuesday. North Carolina is one of the states voting on Super Tuesday.
"I think we have a real advantage here," Bloomberg said. "To go out to all the others."
In front of a packed crowd, Bloomberg laid out his vision. His campaign office is located in uptown Charlotte. It is the former business office of Charlotte’s first African American mayor Harvey Gantt. Bloomberg told the people his priorities include a quality education for all students no matter where they live. The candidate also wants to tackle economic mobility by raising the minimum wage nationwide to at least $15 and hour. He talked about North Carolina’s low minimum wage.
"I'm a business person," Bloomberg said. "And I can tell you business people can afford it - they'll complain about it a little bit. We have to have our employees and our fellow citizens, our customers - everybody be able to enjoy what America is all about and put food on the table."
The candidate also wants to address gun violence. During his visit he mentioned Charlotte's homicide rate in 2019.
"Right here in this city you have a murder problem that has gone up dramatically," Bloomberg said. "The public wants you to do something about guns and I am going to do it and particularly in poor minority communities - unfortunately that's where the chaos is."
The candidate also addressed ways to create more affordable housing.
"You have to change things like zoning laws that prevent that, " Bloomberg said. “That make the density - make it impossible to build affordable housing and make it affordable - that’s a lot of the problem raising money to do so.”
The Presidential candidate also wants to address climate control and health care. The billionaire candidate told the crowd why he is better than President Donald Trump.
"We both come from New York so I know him," Bloomberg said. "And I think that I can explain to the public what he's done wrong and why he's done it and make the case that I have shown 12 years as the Mayor of New York City."
Bloomberg says he delivered while he was mayor for 12 years and that should mean something to voters.
"I can run saying I have the experience," Bloomberg said. "I have already done things that this country needs - bigger scale necessary - and there some other nuances but I am an international business person. I employ 20,000 people and ran a city with 300,000 employees - so you are taking less a bet with me there. A pretty good guess that wen Mike says he is going to do it - he can put the team together and do it."
The candidate is funding his own campaign. Media reports show he is spending about $4 million dollars a day for his political ads. He is polling in the single digits in most polls. Despite that number, he still thinks there is a pathway to victory.
"I wouldn't be in it if I didn't," Bloomberg said. "Is anything guaranteed? Of course not, but if you work hard and explain to the public - hopefully they'll give me the opportunity to take on Donald Trump and be able to beat him and do something for the country that I love."
We are told Bloomberg may be back in Charlotte sometime in February.
Neither the Republican National Committee nor the NC Republican Party responded to requests from WBTV for comment.