MCLEAN, Va. — Democratic presidential hopeful Michael BloombergMichael BloombergEngel scrambles to fend off primary challenge from left It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Liberals embrace super PACs they once shunned MORE on Saturday sought to shore up support among Democrats in Virginia, one of the states he hopes to win when he makes his debut on the ballot in the 2020 race on Super Tuesday.
Bloomberg attempted to gin up support at a “Women for Mike” event in Northern Virginia, drawing more than 800 people to the event, which was geared toward suburban female voters, part of his broader strategy to defeat his Democratic rivals in the commonwealth.
“Well, good morning, women for Mike. I’m Mike for women. Nice to meet you,” the former New York City mayor said to a sea of supporters holding pink, red, white and blue signs after being introduced by a group of women who have worked for him within the past 30 years.
Bloomberg took direct aim at President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE in his remarks, accusing him of threatening women through his policies.
“President Trump has attacked women and women’s rights from the moment he swore the oath of office, and he threatens women’s health and women’s safety through his policies and his judicial appointments,” Bloomberg said.
However, Bloomberg has come under fire for alleged past remarks about his female employees in addition to his initial refusal to release former employees, including women, from nondisclosure agreements.
He announced last week that he cleared the way for three women believed to have accused the former New York City mayor of sexist or misogynistic comments to be released from their nondisclosure agreements.
The presidential contender also continued to swipe at Trump on his response to the coronavirus.
“The president, as we all know, is not a scientist, and that’s a nice way of putting it,” Bloomberg quipped to the crowd. “His incompetence puts us all at risk. Last night at one of his rallies, he even called the virus a Democratic hoax.”
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Bloomberg’s visit to Virginia also underscored his campaign’s broader strategy in the commonwealth. His campaign has visited Virginia seven times since announcing his presidential run and has more than 80 staff members on the ground with eight offices.
A Monmouth University survey released earlier this month showed Bloomberg tied with progressive Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.). Meanwhile, a poll released by the progressive firm Data for Progress shows Sanders leading Bloomberg by 9 points.
Sanders is set to hold two rallies in Virginia later on Saturday.
Bloomberg will head to Charlotte, N.C., and Wilmington, N.C., later on Saturday, also highlighting the importance of that state to his strategy.
The former mayor has a staff of 125 on the ground in the Tar Heel State across 10 offices.
A Meredith College poll released on Friday showed Sanders leading the race in North Carolina with 19.5 percent support. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE came in second at 17.9 percent, followed by Bloomberg at 17 percent.