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WATCH: Bloomberg Makes It Official — He’s Running For President
Michael Bloomberg makes a statement after his meeting with French President Francois Hollande
Chesnot/Getty Images

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Saturday evening that he is officially launching a bid for the Democratic nomination to the presidency.

“I’m running for president to defeat [President] Donald Trump and rebuild America,” Bloomberg tweeted. “I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government, and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead.”

The billionaire businessman initially declared earlier in the year that he would not be running for president, but revealed in October that he hadn’t fully closed the door on the prospect. At the time, Bloomberg expressed discontent with the current 2020 Democratic primary field, criticizing the candidates’ dishonesty with the American people and their unwillingness to work across the aisle with their political adversaries.

Speculation of a presidential run was heightened after Bloomberg filed to run as a Democratic presidential contender in Alabama because of the state’s early filing deadline. His advisers downplayed the move as just another step in the direction of a potential bid, and contended that the financier has not made a final decision. He later filed to run in Arkansas and Texas, and on Thursday he filed an official statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Bloomberg, who has an estimated net worth of more than $50 billion, is already slated to spend $100 million on digital ads against Trump. Bloomberg himself is not featured in the ad beyond the legally mandated disclaimers, but rather, the ads will focus on attacking the incumbent president. Days later reports surfaced that he would be spending between $15 million and $20 million on a 2020 voter registration initiative to weaken Trump’s reelection.

Bloomberg released his first digital ad on Sunday: a nearly two-minute video announcing his presidency. The ad is part of a $31.5 million buy that broke the record as the most expensive ad buy of any candidate ever in a single week.

“Mike Bloomberg started as a middle class kid who had to work his way through college, then built a business from a single room to a global entity creating tens of thousands of good paying jobs along the way,” a narrator says in the video. “He could have stopped there, but when New York suffered the terrible tragedy of 9/11, he took charge, becoming a three-term mayor who brought a city back from the ashes and brought back jobs and hope with it, creating tens of thousands of affordable housing units so families could have a decent place to live, raising teachers’ salaries and kids’ graduation rates, and creating a more open and livable city for the millions who call it home.”

“He could have stopped there, but when he witnessed the terrible toll of gun violence, he put his money where his heart is helping to create a movement to take on the NRA and the politicians they own, to protect families across this country and help turn the tide,” the ad continued. “And he’s funded college educations for thousands of deserving low income and middle class kids, and supported life-saving medical research, and stood up to the coal lobby and the outright denial of this administration to protect the only home we have from the growing menace of climate change.”

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