PHILADELPHIA — Former New York mayor and media mogul Michael Bloomberg hammered Donald Trump in a speech to the Democratic National Convention, calling him a “dangerous demagogue” who was running a scam to win the American presidency.
“I’m a New Yorker and I know a con when I see one,” he said to cheers.
Bloomberg, an independent, said that he was not appearing at the convention to endorse any party or platform, but he endorsed Hillary Clinton.
His speech called her the “sane, competent” alternative to Trump — a line that is a gift to the Clinton campaign as it tries to characterize the Republican nominee as too risky for the White House.
“Tonight as an independent, I ask you to vote not our of party loyalty, but out of love of country,” he said.
Bloomberg himself considered running for president this year as an independent, and even made a proposed advertising spot, but ultimately decided against it.
Like Trump, Bloomberg is a New York billionaire, but the media mogul was adamant that the comparisons ended there.
“Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s running his business — God help us!” Bloomberg said.
He also made a dig at Trump’s image of self-made wealth.
“I didn’t start with a million-dollar check from my father,” Bloomberg said.
He got some boos when he said “many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems.”
“I know that Hillary Clinton isn’t flawless — no candidate is,” Bloomberg said. “But she’s the right choice and responsible choice in this election,” he said. “The bottom line is, Trump is a risky, reckless, radical choice, and we can’t afford to make that choice.”
Bloomberg, a former Republican who became an independent in 2007, endorsed President Obama for re-election in 2012.
“I understand the appeal of a businessman president,” he said. “But Trump’s business plan is a disaster in the making. It would make it harder for small businesses to compete, threaten the retirement savings of millions of Americans, lead to greater debt and more unemployment, erode our influence in the world, and make our communities less safe.”