Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg kicks off his campaign in Austin

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Mike Bloomberg is betting the road to the democratic presidential nomination runs through Texas.

Saturday marked what Bloomberg is calling “Day One” of his nationwide campaign to win the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election. In addition to Austin, Bloomberg had events in San Antonio and Dallas.

Bloomberg has spent more than $50 million nationwide on TV ads — more than $4 million of that on TV ads in Texas, according to Advertising Analytics.

Bloomberg is saying he is not interested in receiving special interest funds to help with his campaign.

Mike Bloomberg campaigns in Austin on Jan. 11, 2020. (KXAN Photo: Kailtyn Karmout)

He has already jumped the largest hurdle for a campaign in Texas: having money to spread the message in every media market in Texas — paid for by his personal fortune.

“People ask me occasionally why aren’t you in the debates — it’s pretty simple,” said Bloomberg. “A party requires donations from 225,000 people, and I’ve never accepted a nickel from anyone in my three campaigns in New York City, and this one.”  

Bloomberg went on to say a “new ethical standard” for the way government works needs to be set.

“You start out with a dollar. That’s what I’m going to do,” said Bloomberg. “Unlike President Trump, I’ve always been independent of the special interest that seem to run our government. I hope the party leaders change their rules. I gladly participate, but I am not going to change my principals.”

KXAN got an exclusive interview with Mike Bloomberg during his stop in Austin Saturday. Two questions were asked, one included what his first step would be if elected.

KXAN got an exclusive interview with Mike Bloomberg during his stop in Austin Saturday. (KXAN Photo: Phil Prazan)

“Get rid of the Hyde amendment, which prevents using money to help women who want to have an abortion,” said Bloomberg. “Number two, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.”

Bloomberg has hired staffers all over Texas to support his campaign. So far, he has 30 staffers with plans to grow that to 100 within the week. In turn, supporting infrastructure and jobs across the currently red state.

“These people are available, it’s just a question of signing them up,” said Bloomberg. “I’ve got to get the offices, which means you have to find the real estate.”

Bloomberg has made it his mission to turn Texas blue. Regardless of his outcome, he plans to keep those hired staffers on the ground. In the case that Bloomberg doesn’t win the primary, they’ll be there to support the Democratic front-runner.

“I want to make sure whoever wins the primary can replace Donald Trump,” said Bloomberg.

That’s foreseeably millions more to support the Democratic Party.

“If you’re ready to clean out the Oval Office and get things done, then welcome to Bloomberg 2020,” said Bloomberg.

Judge Judy Sheindlin joins Mike Bloomberg on the campaign trail. Judge Judy endorsed Mike for President earlier this week. (KXAN Photo: Kailtyn Karmout)

In addition to climate change and abortion policies, Bloomberg plans to end a few of other Trump policies. He made that clear during a comment aimed at Gov. Greg Abbott regarding a refugee ban.

“Gov. Abbott made an announcement yesterday that I would like to mention. His decision to refuse all refugees makes Texas the very first state that has taken president Trump up on his heartless and Un-American policy,” said Bloomberg. “The America I know and love doesn’t close his doors to refugees.”  

Bloomberg also aims to get things done based on his experience as the former Mayor of New York City.

“When I came into office too many people were uninsured. What did we do? We cut the uninsured population by 40 percent,” said Bloomberg. “We approved pre-natal and maternal care, and we raised life expectancy by three years in NYC. ”

Bloomberg’s campaign says it will organize 150 events across 27 states.

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