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Bloomberg to Utah: President Trump won last night’s Democratic debate

Michael Bloomberg speaking at a Salt Lake City rally the morning after the Las Vegas Democratic debate. (Photo: Derek Petersen, KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Fresh off the heels of what many are calling a lackluster performance at the Democratic debate in Las Vegas, presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg made an appeal to Utah voters in downtown Salt Lake City.

He made the audience laugh when he asked, “How was your night last night?”

Bloomberg continued:  “The real winner of the debate last night was Donald Trump.”

Michael Bloomberg: nominate someone who can win

The former New York City mayor said he worries the Democratic party will nominate someone who cannot win in November.  He specifically called out Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom Bloomberg says only appeals to a small base. Then he added, it would be a “fatal error” to put someone like him [Sanders] on the ticket.

Bloomberg claims he’s the best person to defeat President Trump because “Trump is a bully.” But adds, “I’m from New York and I know how to deal with bullies.”

He pointed out he was elected as mayor of New York just weeks after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.  Bloomberg says he builds teams and ideas not only as an elected official but also as a businessman.

Voters want action, not talk

Bloomberg is trying to win over undecided voters by saying he’s not a career politician and doesn’t just go out and make speeches.

“Voters don’t want empty talk and finger-pointing,” he said. “They want common-sense ideas that can become real policy.”

Behind the scenes, Bloomberg campaign officials are assessing how last night’s debate performance affects his standing with the voters. It came just as he was breaking through on a national level in the polls.

Critics say his inability to respond effectively in the debate to the attacks on his wealth and his record on gender and race, especially the “stop and frisk” policing tactics in New York, risks seriously harming his message: that he’s the most competent opponent in a general election against President Donald Trump.

Cold temps, long lines

bloomberg shirts pic

A member of the Michael Bloomberg rally staff hands out shirts to a packed line outside Venue 6SIX9. (PHOTO: KSL Newsradio’s John Wojcik)

A couple hundred supporters braced temperatures in the mid-20s to wait in line early Thursday morning.

The Democratic debate the previous night was a hot topic in the cold weather.

“I think they got [Bloomberg] a little with the non-disclosure agreement,” said one supporter.

“It was great to see the gloves come off and finally some dirt being thrown,” said another.

Following the rally, most said they liked what they heard.

“I thought [Bloomberg] did a great job … I was kind of a Biden supporter, but he’s kind of fading here in the clutch.”

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