Billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg called Tuesday for President Donald Trump’s defeat in 2020 as he took a new formal step towards joining the Democratic presidential race.
“Officially filed in Arkansas to be on the ballot for the Democratic primary,” tweeted the former New York mayor along with a photograph of himself submitting the paperwork — four days after doing the same in Alabama.
Both states have early deadlines to register for the primaries.
“We must defeat Trump. He has failed us at every turn,” the 77-year-old added.
Bloomberg’s personal appearance to sign his ballot papers in Little Rock is a strong public signal that the centrist tycoon will officially leap into the already-crowded Democratic primary field.
“Mike wanted to go and do the filing himself” in Arkansas, Bloomberg spokesman Jason Schechter told The New York Times.
“If he runs, he’s going to go to states that Democrats never go to in the primary campaign. We’re starting that today in Arkansas.”
Bloomberg, who like Trump is a septuagenarian white New York billionaire, said back in March that he wouldn’t run, but more recently has been toying with the idea of throwing his hat in the ring, according to an advisor.
He has changed his political affiliation on multiple occasions, including switching from Democrat to Republican when he successfully ran for mayor of New York in 2001. He became an independent six years later.
Bloomberg is believed to be concerned that the Democratic Party has shifted too far left in recent years, and that a progressive nominee like senators Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren would lead to Trump’s re-election.
Experts say a Bloomberg candidacy could hurt the current frontrunner Joe Biden, the former vice president who is the leading centrist in the race.
Trump last week predicted that Bloomberg would “hurt Biden” if he ran, saying “there’s nobody I’d rather run against than Little Michael.”
Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is preparing to enter the crowded race to become the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election, US media reported Thursday.
The 77-year-old is expected to file paperwork in at least one state this week declaring himself a candidate, according to multiple outlets including The New York Times.
Bloomberg had said back in March he wouldn’t run, but has been toying for weeks with the idea of seeking the White House after all, according to an advisor, who was quoted as saying he had yet to make a final decision.
The billionaire has, though, sent members of staff to Alabama to gather the necessary signatures required to register for that state’s primary ahead of the deadline Friday in anticipation of a bid, the reports said.
Alabama is not one of the earlier primaries but it has one of the earliest deadlines.
The move is the first clear sign that Bloomberg, long touted as a possible US presidential candidate, is getting ready to battle it out to take on President Donald Trump.
“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated –- but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that,” Bloomberg advisor Howard Wolfson said in a statement.
“Based on his record of accomplishment, leadership and his ability to bring people together to drive change, Mike would be able to take the fight to Trump and win,” Wolfson added, according to Bloomberg News.
Bloomberg, the co-founder and CEO of the media company that shares his name, is one of the richest people in the United States.
His huge personal wealth would likely shake up the contest at a time when frontrunner Joe Biden’s fundraising is sagging.
Bloomberg is perceived as a centrist figure close to Wall Street who views Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, two of the other Democratic frontrunners, as too left-wing.
“He thinks (leader) Joe Biden is weak and Sanders and Warren can’t win,” the New York Post quoted a source familiar with Bloomberg’s plans as saying.
Bloomberg’s entry would bloat an already crowded field of contenders, with 17 candidates currently vying for the right to take on Trump as the Democratic nominee.
Bloomberg, who was elected mayor of the Big Apple in 2001 and served until 2013, is known to be opposed to some of the policies espoused by Warren and Sanders.
They regularly lash out at financiers and big corporations. Both have said they plan to hit the rich with bigger taxes.
“Welcome to the race, @MikeBloomberg!” tweeted Warren.
“If you’re looking for policy plans that will make a huge difference for working people and which are very popular, start here,” she added.
Warren accompanied the tweet with a link link to a calculator on her website which works out how much more billionaires would pay in tax under her presidency.
“The billionaire class is scared and they should be scared,” Sanders posted on Twitter, in a not-so-subtle reference to the reports about Bloomberg.
Bloomberg has switched between the Republican and Democratic parties over the years and also served as an independent mayor.
He has used some of his fortune to back Democratic politicians and fund policies that he believes in — including the fight against climate change and anti-vaping efforts.
Bloomberg considered running as an independent in 2016 but opted not to for fear of splitting the Democratic vote.
The list shows that Dangote’s wealth rose by 58 per cent so far this year, making him the second biggest mover after Andrew Forrest, founder and largest shareholder of Fortescue Metals Group, the world’s fourth-largest iron ore producer, whose wealth grew by 59 per cent.
Dangote was the only Nigerian on Bloomberg’s list of 500 billionaires and retained his position as Africa’s richest person.
Bloomberg’s net worth figures are updated every business day at the close of every trading day in New York, with assets categorised as publicly traded companies, private assets (including closely held businesses, art and real estate), cash and other liquid investments and liabilities.
Other Africans on the Bloomberg list were Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa, who was ranked 216th with a net worth of $7.05bn; Johann Rupert of South Africa (ranked 225th with $6.92bn wealth); Nassef Sawiris of Egypt occupied the 228th position with $6.83bn; Natie Kirsh of South Africa (ranked 263rd with a net worth of $6.10bn) and Naguib Sawiris of Egypt emerged 331st with a fortune of $5.12bn.
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured potential investors that Nigeria would soon be one of the most attractive places to invest as his administration has embarked on significant economic reforms to realise that goal.
The President gave the assurance to a large gathering of political and business leaders from the United States, Africa and other regions of the world at the Second United States-Africa Business Forum in the New York, on Wednesday, organised by the United States Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The Nigerian leader said that the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, would soon come out with wide-ranging business environment reforms on ports, visa-on arrival, improving the speed and efficiency of land titling and business registration.
Investment Destination In Africa
Some fiscal incentives he noted, include, up to five years tax holiday for activities classified as “pioneer”; tax-free operations; no restrictions on expatriate quotas in Free Trade Zones; and a low VAT regime of five per cent.
“We intend to make Nigeria one of the most attractive places to do business,” he declared, even as he noted that Nigeria remained the number one investment destination in Africa.
President Buhari told the gathering that his administration would continue to strengthen government institutions in order to address the concerns of investors and ease investments in the Nigerian economy.
“We are weaning ourselves from a historical dependence on crude oil, diversifying our economy, and putting it on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth.
“To this end, we have embarked on policies aimed at establishing an open, rules-based and market-oriented economy.
“We will continue to actively engage with the private sector at the highest levels to listen to your concerns and to assure you of our commitment to creating enabling policies in which your businesses can survive and thrive,” President Buhari said.
He urged participants to “take advantage of this Forum to establish and strengthen business relationships, share valuable experience and collaborate for mutual benefits”.
President Buhari while stressing that enormous potential exists for foreign investment and for the local economy, listed sectors which had barely been exploited to include Nigeria’s 180-million population and abundance of labour; arable land; forest waters; oil and gas; solid minerals; livestock and huge tourist potential.
“These are no doubt challenging times for the Nigerian economy.
“But let me use this opportunity to boldly affirm our conviction that there is no crisis without an accompanying opportunity.
“In our case, we see Nigeria’s ongoing economic challenges – occasioned mainly by the fall in oil prices – as an opportunity to set the economy firmly on the path of true diversification, sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity,” he stated.
The President said that the reform measures taken by his administration since inception in 2015 had started yielding good fruits especially in the areas of security, anti-corruption and revamping the economy.
He emphasised that the priority investment sectors for his administration now were improving infrastructure, industrial productivity, agriculture, mining and digital economy where “young Nigerians are increasingly demonstrating that they have the talent and the passion to leverage”.
On United States-Nigeria business relations, he announced the commencement of the U.S.-Nigeria Commercial and Investment Dialogue with a focus on the infrastructure, agriculture, digital economy, investment and regulatory reform to be jointly led by the Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and his U.S. counterpart.
President Buhari said that after this Business Forum, he looked forward to increased trade and investment flows between Nigeria and the United States.
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Lamido Sanusi Lamido has said that he will not renew his contract when it expires. According to a report by CNBC.com, Sanusi said he was never interested in staying longer than a term.
After an audit found evidence of mismanagement of funds by some banks, Sanusi fired the MD’s of eight banks, in recent times he has been able to push stability in the currency and help bring inflation down.
Speculations by industry watchers have pointed to the Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr Aigboije Aig Imoukhuede, as a successor of the CBN governor.
Meanwhile, the Naira depreciated to the lowest in almost a week as the CBN offered fewer dollars at an auction, offsetting its decision to hold the key lending rate at a record high to support the currency.
The currency fell by 0.2 per cent to N158.95 per dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The CBN sold $280m at its auction on Wednesday less than the $300m given out at the previous sale on March 18.
Hyong Shin Park a Samsung Electronics company designer and one of the inventors of Samsung’s F700 phone has been barred by a federal judge from testifying in the on-going multibillion- dollar patent trial between Apple and Samsung over mobile devices.
The U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in federal court in San Jose, California stated that the designer cannot testify in Apple/Samsung patent trial as she didn’t design any of the devices at issue in the case and her testimony is of limited value in evaluating Apple’s design patents in suit and Samsung sought to use Park’s testimony to establish functionality of the F700 design and to rebut allegations of copying or wilfulness, Koh said in her ruling..
Judge Lucy also added that “The risk of undue prejudice to Apple outweighs the probative value of Ms. Park’s testimony,”
The first of this kind of trial placed before a U.S. jury between U.S. Company Apple Inc. suing South Korea based electronic company Samsung in battle of dominance in the smartphone market in over four continents which has been valued at $219.1 billion according business website Bloomberg.