The Conservative Political Action Conference, a yearly confab dedicated to all things on the right side of the aisle, is a bastion of support for President Trumps re-election in 2020. Among the red dresses, dark suits, and MAGA hats, there arent many people who believe Trump cant win another four years in the White House.
However, if forced to pick out a favorite in the Democratic field, many CPAC attendeesyoung and oldchose another New York businessman: Mike Bloomberg. The self-proclaimed conservatives cited the former New York mayors business acumen, his net worth, and his former GOP credentials as positive points about the Democratic presidential contender.
I would pick Bloomberg, because I think hes the most sane of them all, Ron Fodor, a 67-year-old retiree, told The Daily Beast. Basically because a wise man once said, Be a success before you tell someone else how to be a success. I think Bloomberg, hes been a success, theres no doubt about it Hes also a capitalist, where the other ones could swing to be more of a socialist, and that scares me.
Bloombergwhos worth a staggering $59 billionearned his riches after founding his eponymous global financial services, software, and media company, Bloomberg L.P. Hes poured an incredible amount of his own money into his campaign, which officially entered the national stage after the Iowa caucuses. At one point, he was spending over $38 a second.
Samuel, a 16-year-old former New Yorker who asked his last name be omitted, allowed that he would have a penchant for Bloomberg if someone held him at gunpoint, recalling Bloombergs performance as mayor.
For over a decade, Bloomberg served as New York Citys mayor as both a Republican and an independent. In 2005, he was even able to clinch the widest winning margin at the time for a Republican mayor of New York.
I think that Bloomberg changed a lot for New York City so he clearly would be able to change a lot for America. I wouldnt say its all for the better, [but] I would say hes one I could deal with, Samuel said. He was a Republican for a long time. It doesnt surprise me that he would switch over, the fact that he was mayor for so long as a Republican is quite something but a lot of his policies now do seem in line with what he held before.
Two Catholic University freshmen, Franchetta Groves and Mara Schleigh, said they saw Bloomberg as not ideal but that he got some points in their eyes for his experience in business.
Hes actually not as far left as everyone else, it seems,Schleigh said. Then again, I really wouldnt want any of them.
Jennifer OReilly, a former New Yorker in her mid-forties, said she thought Bloomberg could clinch the Democratic nomination but questioned his party alignment and message. Bloomberg was a Democrat before he ran for mayor as a Republican in 2001, then changed his party affiliation to independent while he was still in City Hall. He officially came back to the Democratic Party in 2018.
He ran as a Republican for the New York City mayor, he ran as an independent, and now hes not a Democrat but hes running as a Democrat, OReilly said.
Tim Kaelin, a CPAC attendee in his mid-fifties, also said he didnt think the former mayor was a genuine Republican or a genuine Democrat and couldnt figure out what his agenda was. However, he said he did think Bloomberg would be effective in office.
Bloomberg is a business guy. Hes going to be more autocratic than Trump is, certainly, Kaelin said. Whatever he wants to do, I think he will get done, but Im not sure what it is.
Kaelin had praise for another moderate in the Democratic field, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), saying she was a competent candidate who probably would get things done that [I] wouldnt like.
Shes passed over 100 bills in the Senate, he said. Nobody else has done that, I dont even think Biden has done that.
Arnette Davis, 62, who was wearing a bright red suit and a Trump hat, and 16-year-old Madison Spanodemos also said their favorite in the Democratic field was the centrist Minnesota senatorwho often boasts about her real experience in the political arena.
I think shes one of the few candidates who has publicly identified and spoken out against how extreme the other Democrats arenot to say her policies arent extreme, Spanodemos said. But the fact that shes willing to say, in public, that middle America and other voters wont be so attracted to some of these ideas says a lot about howd shed be as president.
Davis said she could see people like herself potentially work[ing] with [Klobuchar] and she would be open to both sides.
Still, 22-year-old Giovanni Gravano, echoing many attendees, said he thought the president winning re-election was a no-brainer.
I think Trump still has 2020, hands down. I dont think anybody on that Democratic stage has a chance at the moment, no matter how much money they have, he said.