Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has made his first presidential campaign visit to Ohio.
The whirlwind trip took the Democratic candidate first to Chillicothe, where he met with the mayor and sat in on a round table about the opioid crisis. Bloomberg said he was struck by the drugs’ broad impact, cutting across racial and socioeconomic lines.
"What stood out to me is the people around the table who had spouses or kids who OD'ed and died came from families that you would've described as, 'Oh that's the perfect ultimate American family.'"
Bloomberg also stopped briefly in Columbus to meet with local officials and party leaders.
The billionaire former mayor was absent from the stage in Thursday night’s Democratic primary debate in Los Angeles. By self-financing his campaign, he doesn’t meet the donor requirements to appear alongside his opponents.
Bloomberg didn’t directly respond to anything said by other candidates during the debate, but he argued many of their proposals have little chance of gaining approval in Congress.
"They're just announcements that don't really add up to anything,” Bloomberg said. “I think Donald Trump is going to be very tough to beat, he's going to be very hard to beat, and I'm not sure any of these people can beat him."
Bloomberg, a late entry into the field, explained he was motivated to join the 2020 race because sitting out might be the reason Donald Trump eventually won.