Michael Bloomberg knocked President Trump’s record on infrastructure in a new ad released Wednesday, while touting his own $1 trillion plan to revamp the country’s crumbling and outdated bridges and roads.
The ad — part of Bloomberg’s massive, $250 million effort to blanket airwaves and screens with his campaign message — came the same day that he unveiled a plan to allocated $850 billion over the next decade to invest in roads, bridges, dams and other infrastructure. It would also establish a $1 billion annual “pothole” fund for emergency repairs and $100 billion to ensure clean drinking water in vulnerable communities.
Bloomberg highlights the administration’s “empty promises” in the ad, which opens with Trump speaking at his inaugural address in Washington, D.C.: “We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and railways all across our wonderful nation.”
Although Trump campaigned on addressing the country’s dilapidated infrastructure, and said his prowess as a builder would give him an edge over other candidates, Washington gridlock paralyzed a bipartisan deal. Last May, Trump walked out of a meeting with top Democrats, saying there will be no “investment” unless Democrats abandoned investigations into his personal finances and administration.
“How about a president who doesn’t just talk about infrastructure, but has actually built it?” the former New York City mayor said in the 90-second ad.
In a 2017 report, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that funding would need to be increased by at least $2 trillion over the next 10 years to address a gap in American infrastructure -- which earned a D+ in the group’s most recent report card.
It’s unclear how Bloomberg intends to fund the proposal; his campaign said those details will be part of a forthcoming tax plan.
Trump responded to the slew of negative ads, including ones focused on impeachment, that Bloomberg has been running, jabbing "Mini Mike" for "playing poker with his foolhardy and suspecting Democrat rivals."
"He says that if he loses (he really means when!) in the primaries, he will spend money helping whoever the Democrat nominee is," Trump wrote in a Thursday morning tweet. "By doing this, he figures, they won’t hit him as hard during his hopeless 'presidential' campaign. They will remain silent! The fact is, when Mini losses, he will be spending very little of his money on these 'clowns' because he will consider himself to be the biggest clown of them all - and he will be right!"
Bloomberg responded within less than 30 minutes with a terse message for the president: "Obsessed much?"
"It shouldn't be this easy to distract the President of the United States," Bloomberg added.
Bloomberg is not participating in the Iowa caucuses and won't be on the ballots of other early-voting states, including New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, instead concentrating his vast, $60 billion fortune on states that vote on March 3, when a whopping 1,357 Democratic delegates will be awarded.
He’s also not accepting donations, meaning he is unable to appear in the debates due to the Democratic National Committee's qualifying rules, which require a candidate to ascertain a number of individual campaign donors.
The ad spending, combined with a campaign operation that includes more than 1,000 employees, has helped boost Bloomberg to fifth place nationally, according to an aggregate of polls by RealClearPolitics.
Trump attacked Bloomberg earlier in the week for using his massive personal fortune to finance his campaign, saying he's "wasting his money."
"He’s not going to win, because he can’t," Trump told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo. "He can’t speak properly, and he’s not a charismatic guy.”