Bloomberg meets with Democratic governors

Former New York City Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg paid a quiet visit to a gathering of Democratic governors Saturday morning in what some guests took as an early outreach effort to party leaders who are growing increasingly nervous about the presidential nominating contest.
Eight governors sat down with Bloomberg at a breakfast hosted by the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), two sources with knowledge of the meeting told The Hill.
The sources said he did not make a hard pitch seeking support, but he sketched an overview of his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Bloomberg’s visit was arranged by the only Democratic governor who has endorsed his presidential bid, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D), the DGA’s immediate past chair. Raimondo spoke on Bloomberg’s behalf, one source said.
Raimondo’s office and Bloomberg’s campaign did not comment on the meeting.
The DGA confirmed the meeting, citing Bloomberg’s long history of giving to the group and making clear that an organization dedicated to electing governors was not about to weigh in on a presidential contest.
“Mayor Bloomberg has been one of the DGA’s biggest supporters and partners over the last few cycles as he’s seen governors lead major efforts on gun violence prevention and climate change. We appreciated the opportunity to continue our ongoing conversation over the years with Mayor Bloomberg,” said Christina Amestoy, the DGA’s deputy communications director.
“The DGA has not and will not take sides in the Democratic presidential primary and will remain laser-focused on ensuring we have the resources to support our governors.”
Several sources with knowledge of the meeting said Bloomberg’s presence at the event, held on the sidelines of the annual National Governors Association meetings in Washington, was meant as a quiet reminder that Democrats nervous about the party’s presidential nominating contest have a centrist fallback option if former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign falters.
Bloomberg’s meeting comes as Democrats bent on beating President Trump have grown concerned in recent weeks as they have watched Biden stumble. The former vice president has raised money at a slower pace than both his leading liberal rivals and slightly moderate candidate former Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Biden finished a distant and disappointing fourth place in the Iowa caucuses, and polls suggest he is headed for a similar finish in New Hampshire. His once-invincible Nevada and South Carolina firewalls also now appear in jeopardy.
Bloomberg, on the other hand, has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into his own campaign, including more than $300 million on television advertising alone — a rate of more than $100 million per month. He ordered his aides to double his ad buys after the chaotic Iowa caucuses, which muddled the front-runners’ momentum while wounding Biden’s chances.
As concerns grow about Biden’s chances, and about the prospects of a ticket led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Bloomberg is positioning himself as the fallback option.
One source with knowledge of the meeting said Bloomberg’s presence was meant to remind governors that they know him, they have benefitted from his financial support and that they would have an ally in the White House were he to win.
Bloomberg has already earned support from eight members of Congress, including five freshmen who won seats previously held by Republicans in the 2018 midterms. Raimondo is the only governor to back him so far. Two dozen mayors, from Ethan Berkowitz in Anchorage to Muriel Bowser in Washington, D.C., London Breed in San Francisco and Steve Benjamin in Columbia, S.C., have all backed Bloomberg’s campaign.
The source with knowledge of the meeting paraphrased Bloomberg’s subtle message: Come on in, the water’s just fine.
Tags Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Joe Biden Michael Bloomberg On The Trail Pete Buttigieg

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