Presidential hopeful and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a special appearance in Atlanta on Friday as he attempted to woo Georgians to support his candidacy.
During a private rally in Midtown, Bloomberg promised to make voter rights a priority, praising former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams for her dedication to the issue he believes was behind her defeat in the 2018 race.
“Make no mistake, voter suppression remains a very big problem.”
In a shoulder-to-shoulder press conference with Abrams on Friday morning in Decatur, Bloomberg vowed to continue his support of Abrams’ Fair Fight organization after donating $5 million in December to the voting rights organization.
“I lay out my plan for what I would do to protect voters’ rights as president. Including adopting an automated voter registration. After all, state agencies already know who is 18 years or older,” he said.
Bloomberg said there is a need for more early voting, to stop voter roll purges, to end gerrymandering and to restore the right to vote to everyone who has served a prison sentence.
Abrams introduced the former mayor as “a friend of America,” praising his commitment to fighting for voting rights.
“There is no one who’s stepped up more and done more to this endeavor than Mayor Michael Bloomberg,” Abrams said.
Bloomberg paid tribute to Atlanta’s civil rights leaders as analysts claim he is trying to court black voters after criticism of his handling of the Central Park 5 case.
After a roaring welcome to the beat of Atlanta’s Drum Academy, Bloomberg praised Atlanta as one of the most important cities in the United States due to its history and civil rights legacy.
He also praised Paschal’s on Northside Drive — the food and its place in history for civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr.
“It was where the marches of Selma and Montgomery were planned and where Dr. King’s tragic death was mourned,” he said.