CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Illinois) announced Tuesday that he was throwing his support behind former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
Bloomberg’s is one of the first presidential campaigns to visit the area this year. He campaigned at Olive Harvey College several days ago.
Rush initially supported U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California), but she dropped out in December.
The Bloomberg campaign also named Rush a national co-chair.
“Mike gets it, he instinctively understands that economic opportunity — economic equity — has been and for far too long, ignored for African-Americans,” Rush said in a Bloomberg news release. “He alone, among the current Democratic candidates, has been the clearest, the most focused, and the most reasonable voice for addressing the depressed state of the African-American economy. His Greenwood Initiative is not only inspirational, it’s practical and it’s doable.”
The Bloomberg campaign emphasized that Rush has dedicated his life to making sure government resources go to every American.
“Congressman Bobby Rush has dedicated his life to building a more open, inclusive, equitable, just and prosperous America — as a civil rights activist, pastor, and leader in Congress, where he has been a force for change on issues we both feel passionately about, including health care, gun violence, and poverty” Bloomberg said in the release. “I’m honored to have his support – and as our campaign continues to build momentum, we will benefit from the wisdom and advice he will offer as a National Co-Chair of our campaign.”
Some critics online are called Rush’s move “hypocritical.”
Rush had been a vocal critic of stop-and-frisk policing, which Bloomberg championed in New York City while mayor. Bloomberg now calls the policy wrong and has apologized before he launched his campaign.