MIAMI — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Sunday offered a strong rebuke of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy vision and the recent spate of anti-Semitism in a speech centered around his Jewish faith.
Bloomberg joked that while he isn’t the only Jewish candidate in the 2020 race, “I am the only one who doesn’t want to turn America into a kibbutz” — a thinly veiled reference to fellow contender Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
“Attacks on Jews, especially the Orthodox, have been taking place with horrifying regularity,” Bloomberg said referencing therecent violence in the New York area during Hannukah, and the 2019 attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. “As these attacks occur, our children look to us with faces turned upward for answers, for reassurance, for safety.”
Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine introduced Bloomberg to the nearly 850 people who showed up to the event — more than the campaign expected.
Bloomberg spoke for roughly 20 minutes to the enthusiastic crowd fired up to see the former mayor. Loud music filled the space before Bloomberg took the stage, creating a buzzing, club-like atmosphere — and the energy built in the room as the speech progressed.
Bloomberg proposed adding bulletproof doors and installing bollards in order to increase security and safety at synagogues and places of worship.
“Sadly, I suppose, we must do these things. But while we harden our buildings, we must never harden our hearts,” said Bloomberg, who has advocated for and funded gun violence prevention efforts across the country for years.