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Sam Donaldson campaigns for Mike Bloomberg in Grand Rapids

Legendary newsman is facing criticism for endorsement
Posted at 9:28 PM, Feb 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-29 23:10:43-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Presidential campaigns are already hitting the ground hard in anticipation of the March 10th Michigan primary.

At Mike Bloomberg’s Grand Rapids campaign office, volunteers spent their Saturday making calls to voters, watching along was legendary newsman Sam Donaldson.

“I’m here plugging for Mike Bloomberg. I think he would be the best person to be the nominee of the Democratic party and the best person to defeat Donald Trump in November,” Donaldson told FOX 17.

Donaldson, who spent decades as a journalist covering U.S. presidents from Carter to Clinton, is being criticized for his decision to endorse a political candidate.

“I’m no longer a working reporter, a journalist. When I was for 52 years I never endorsed a candidate, I never let anyone know what my vote was, I never gave a penny to a political organization or candidate, I never went to an event unless I was a reporter, now I’m just an average person just like anyone else,” Donaldson explained.

“I have to take it just like I used to give it,” he added.

Donaldson has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump and it’s the reason he’s now taking a public political stance.

“No one is going to change their vote, or vote because of me, my name. If I can persuade people by arguments, by facts that Bloomberg’s the guy and they think about it, that might help,” he said.

Bloomberg has not been on a ballot thus far, his campaign remains focused on Super Tuesday and beyond.

Donaldson thinks he'll have a strong showing, despite Senator Bernie Sanders' momentum.

“Mike’s not going to get that many delegates, but he will get, I trust a significant, number given his late start. And from that you grow, little acorns produce big oak trees and I think the strategy is to keep going,” Donaldson said.

“Every time you have another contest as the month of March goes on at the end of the month, we will have selected 66% of the delegates. He will catch up, he will begin to catch up,” Donaldson added.

Donaldson believes Michigan will once again be a crucial state in deciding the election, which is part of the reason for his Grand Rapids visit.

“I think it’s very important that a Democratic nominee to defeat Mr. Trump has to win [Michigan] and win it by a large margin, I think someone will, but I think that person is going to be Mike Bloomberg,” Donaldson added.

When asked if Donaldson would support any candidate who gets the Democratic nomination, he said, “Of the people I see on the stage now, yes, any one of them.”

Several presidential candidates are set to make appearances on the east side of the state over next week, including Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Tulsi Gabbard.