Remarks as delivered by Mike Bloomberg in Phoenix, Arizona:
“Great to be here in Phoenix and to meet with some voters and hear about the issues that are most important to them.
“Arizona, as you know, is a crucial battleground state, but you don’t often see presidential candidates around here.
“And the fact is: President Trump is about the only one spending any money here and in some of the other swing states around the country – and that’s a big problem for our party and I am determined to change exactly that.
“Democrats, I think, have a chance to win Arizona, and turn it from red to blue if we nominate somebody who makes winning here a top priority, and if we nominate someone who builds the kind of broad coalition that is needed to win in states like Arizona.
“The path to the presidency goes through right where we are standing right now. And this is the road that I’m taking. This is why I’m here, and I’m here at the beginning of my campaign rather than later on.
“I just wanted to briefly tell you why I’ve decided to enter this race. I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and to unite and rebuild America. It’s really that simple.
“We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions. And if he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage.
“The stakes could not be higher. We must win this election. We must begin rebuilding America – by investing at home, and restoring our nation’s credibility and moral leadership abroad.
“I believe that my unique set of experiences in business, in government, and in philanthropy will enable me to both win and lead. I’m a problem solver and a doer – not a talker.
“I’ve spent my entire career bringing people together to tackle big problems – and to fix them. It has worked well in business – and in running the country’s largest, most progressive city. It can work in Washington, it can work in Phoenix, and we’ve got to pull together and make it work for all of America.
“I’ve got a track record of taking on tough fights – and winning. I’ve taken on Trump on gun violence – and beat him by helping to put stronger gun laws in states across this country. I took on Trump the climate denier – and beat him by helping to close more than half of the nation’s dirty coal fired power plants that pollute our air and threaten our climate.
“I know what it takes to beat Donald Trump, because I already have in New York, in Washington, and in State Houses across the country. And I will do it again.
“Now, growing up, I never thought I’d run for president. I didn’t know anybody who’d ever run for president before. My father never earned more than $6,000 a year, the best year of his life. I managed to work my way through college and get an entry-level job in New York.
“And then, when I was 39-years-old, I got laid off. I didn’t quite know what to do next. But I had an idea to start a company – so I took a chance.
“Today I’m glad to say that our company employs 20,000 people and it generates large profits, all of which I donate to helping people across the country and around the world.
“My company pays employees well, provides the best health care benefits money can buy, and if someone has a baby, they get six months of paid maternity or paternity leave.
“In short, I run my company according to my values: honesty, integrity, fairness, and inclusion. And that’s the same approach that I brought to city government.
“I was elected mayor of America’s most diverse city just weeks after the attacks on 9/11. It was really a frightening time for our city and our country. But we rebuilt the economy with new jobs and new opportunities for everybody – people on all rungs of the economic ladder.
“We worked with our teachers to negotiate the largest raise in teacher salaries in America, and we improved graduation rates by 42 percent.
“We cut murders in half while reducing incarceration by nearly 40 percent.
“We also cut the city’s carbon footprint by 14 percent and created new programs to combat poverty.
“And we expanded health care and strengthened immigrant communities.
“Since leaving City Hall, I founded the largest gun safety group in history. Now it has six million supporters. We are working closely with Gabby Giffords and her husband.
“I created a campaign to take on the biggest polluters and climate threats.
“I know how to take on the powerful special interests that corrupt Washington. I know how to win – because I’ve done it, time and time again.
“I will be the only candidate in this race who isn’t corruptible, who isn’t going to take a penny from anyone, and will work for a dollar a year who over 12 years in office built a reputation for unmatched honesty and competency.
“Over the course of this campaign, I’m going to outline plans for: creating good-paying jobs; providing quality health care for every American; stopping gun violence; reducing incarceration; fighting climate change; supporting our veterans; fixing our broken immigration system; taxing wealthy people like me; re-establishing America’s place in the world as a force for peace and stability; and protecting women’s rights to control their bodies, and everyone’s right to be who they are and marry who they love.
“But more than plans, I will offer the leadership to turn plans into reality, to roll up my sleeves, to motivate our country to unite and rebuild America – and make it better and fairer. I’m ready to get working.”