Alexandria, VA – Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg made a quick campaign stop in Alexandria on Friday, Dec. 13, and called for all coal-fired power plants in the country to be shut down. The former New York City mayor was initially supposed to speak outside of the GenOn Energy Potomac River Generating Station [which closed in 2012], but the cold rain forced the event indoors and Bloomberg spoke at Blackwall Hitch on the Alexandria waterfront.
“The president refuses to lead on climate change, so the rest of us must,” Bloomberg said. “I’ve been all-in on this fight for more than a decade, and having helped close more than half the nation’s dirty coal plants, having cut New York City’s carbon footprint by 14 percent, having led a coalition of cities, states, and businesses committed to the Paris Agreement, I know that we can win.”
Bloomberg joins the list of democrats who have visited the area during their campaigns, including Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, and Sen. Kamalah Harris (Calif.). The event was standing room only, and many supporters held up “END COAL 2030” in support of Bloomberg’s proposal to replace all coal and gas-fired energy plants with clean energy by 2030.
Now in the third week of his campaign, Bloomberg said that beating President Trump will be difficult, and that he entered the race when it looked like the current slate of democratic presidential candidates would be unsuccessful.
“I would love the opportunity to take on Donald Trump,” Bloomberg said. “I had decided that I wasn’t going to run for office. I could still do a lot with my foundation and all of my personal time. And then I started taking a look at Donald Trump getting stronger, the stock market going up, unemployment going down, which will make it harder to replace him. And I looked at the candidates and I just thought, maybe I’m wrong, but they did not look to me like if they would be successful in defeating Donald Trump. And while we have lots of problems, the number one problem is getting a different president. We need a different president and we’re not going in that direction.”
Del. Mark Levine was in the audience for Bloomberg’s appearance.
“I welcome all the candidates for president to my district,” Levine said. “Part of my role as an elected representative is to convey the views of my constituents to national leaders. I respect the very good things Bloomberg has done to keep guns away from dangerous people. I told him that and thanked him for his efforts in Virginia.”