Rep. Hakeem Jeffries welcomes Bloomberg to ‘more the merrier’ Democratic presidential race
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries once led the fight against Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s signature “stop and frisk” policing policy.
But the Democratic rising star from Brooklyn says he’s now willing to give the billionaire a second chance as a presidential hopeful.
“The more the merrier,” Jeffries told the Daily News Editorial Board on Tuesday. “His entry into the race, from my standpoint, is a welcome development, because he’s got a track record to run on.”
Jeffries said Bloomberg would have to show he can “walk the walk” when it comes to moving past his apology for stop-and-frisk and other problematic policies he championed during his GOP-friendly tenure in Gracie Mansion.
“We’ll see what vision he articulates as it relates to moving the country forward and why he may be the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump,” Jeffries added.
Bloomberg may have some work to do with black voters, but he did win much more support than his massively unpopular predecessor.
“He had the distinct advantage of following Rudolph Giuliani,” said Jeffries, who took a dig at Trump’s personal lawyer as a “mess.”
Jeffries, who is No. 5 in the House Democratic leadership, suggested that he believes America is going to be looking for a “change candidate” in 2020 to oust Trump.
He gave high marks to the Democratic-led impeachment drive. But he said the Dems should remain focused on kitchen table issues like infrastructure, guns, prescription drug prices and trade.
“That’s a proven strategy that has been successful,” he said. “It is the right strategy in terms of getting things done to make life better for everyday Americans.”