Bloomberg served three terms as mayor of Trump’s hometown. A billionaire New Yorker and political novice who captured the Republican nomination and rode it to victory stood in front of the crowd and asked it not to allow another billionaire New Yorker to do the same.
The Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent began by establishing his nonpartisan credentials, calling his appearance “an unconventional convention speech” delivered by an outsider. “When the Founding Fathers arrived here in Philadelphia to forge a new nation they didn't come as Democrats or Republicans or to nominate a presidential candidate,” Bloomberg said. “They came as patriots who feared party politics, and I know how they felt.”
He called himself a ticket-splitter and criticized both parties, the Republicans for demonizing immigrants and Democrats for poor-mouthing the private sector.
“There are times when I disagree with Hillary,” he said. “But whatever our disagreements may be, I’ve come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue.”
He praised Clinton’s work to help New York recover from 9/11 and said she is the kind of leader who listens. His endorsement came with a caveat.
“Now, I know Hillary Clinton is not flawless. No candidate is,” Bloomberg said. “But she is the right choice—and the responsible choice—in this election. No matter what you may think about her politics or her record, Hillary Clinton understands that this is not reality television. This is reality.”
Cue the attack on Trump.
Bloomberg, a self-made billionaire who is four times richer than Trump even claims to be, mocked the mythology of GOP candidate’s wealth. “Now, we’ve heard a lot of talk in this campaign about needing a leader who understands business. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve built a business. And I didn’t start it with a million-dollar check from my father.” Some estimates suggest Trump’s wealth is basically the value of his inheritance plus inflation.
“I’m a New Yorker,” Bloomberg continued. “And I know a con when we see one! Trump says he’ll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the U.S. visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What'd I miss here?!”
“Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy!”
Bloomberg said America is greater than Trump suggests and needs a better president than Trump could be. “I understand the appeal of a businessman president. But Trump’s business plan is a disaster in the making,” he said.
“The bottom line is: Trump is a risky, reckless, and radical choice. And we can't afford to make that choice!”