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Michael Bloomberg blasts Donald Trump on climate change, guns

‘I said I’d make a decision before the end of February.’

Sticking to his position that he will decide yet this month whether to run for president, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg used a tour of Orlando’s solar research and technology labs Friday to blast President Donald Trump on climate change and guns.

Bloomberg officially was in Orlando Friday to promote his foundation’s documentary film “Paris to Pittsburgh,” which is a rebuttal to Trump and other climate change skeptics,

In brief remarks and a brief news conference, remained coy about his own prospects to run for president in 2020, repeating his position that he’ll decide in February, but adding that there still is time left in the month.

“I don’t think there’s any question in any organization, whether it’s federal government, state government, city government, businesses, a hospital, schools, that leadership matters. And we are not getting leadership out of Washington that I think we deserve,” he said Friday outside the Orlando Utilities Commission’s research and development labs,” he said.

Bloomberg is a billionaire media mogul, philanthropist and activist who has been a Democrat, a Republican an independent, and now a Democrat again. He served three terms as New York’s mayor. He was a featured speaker at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He’s also served as the United Nations’ Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, and in that role helped organize the 2015 Paris Climate Summit that led to climate change accords that President Barack Obama signed but Trump revoked.

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“I said at the Democratic convention in 2016 that I did not think that Donald Trump has the skill sets necessary to guide our country. Nothing he has done has surprised me and nothing he has done has changed my view on it.”

“We do need a good president,” Bloomberg also said. “I said I would look at the possibility and try to weigh what I can do in the private sector whereas here’s what you could do if you were honored to be able to lead another organization like a country. So I said I’d make a decision before the end of February, and last time I checked my calendar I still have 20-plus days to go.”

Orlando and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer are prominent in the film “Paris to Pittsburgh” and Bloomberg’s visit was in part homage to that.

“Despite our federal government trying to drive us backward, America is moving forward on climate change because of cities like Orlando, and because of strong support from Americans for action across this country,” Bloomberg said.

Orlando is one of 25 cities that won a competition through his foundation, and are being highlighted for their green programs

“We project that over the next six years, the work that the 25 winning cities undertake have the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 40 million metric tons,” Bloomberg said. “It means that 25 cities can accomplish the equivalent of shutting 10 coal-fired power plants.”

“Just imagine how much more progress we can make if Washington was working with us instead of against us,” he added.

Bloomberg also has been an advocate for gun law change and is one of the driving forces behind Everytown for Gun Safety and other gun control organizations.

He cited Dyer’s efforts following Orlando’s 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub.

“We have a lot more to do. I think everyone knows that. I think cities and states are showing on gun safety and on climate change we are not waiting for Washington,” Bloomberg concluded.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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