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Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg released Wednesday an economic agenda that focuses heavily on helping "the people and communities that have been short-changed by President Trump," per the plan's details, by creating jobs and increasing wages.

Why it matters: It's no secret Trump wants to run his re-election campaign on the economy, but Bloomberg is tapping into a conversation we're hearing from voters all across the country, whether in our focus groups or on the campaign trail: wages aren't keeping up and Trump isn't talking about that.

  • There might be more jobs available, but the wages aren't matching the demands of a 21st century lifestyle — and many Americans are piecing together multiple gigs to make ends meet.
  • Bloomberg will travel to Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio later today to sell his "All-in economy" agenda to voters there, and Axios will be at all three stops.
  • Hillary Clinton won two of those three states in 2016, with Trump taking Ohio.

What they're saying: "I know that our economy is working fine for people like me — and people like Donald Trump," Bloomberg said on a call with reporters yesterday morning. "But it is badly broken for the vast majority of Americans."

  • "He’s counting on the economy to lift him to victory — and he’s hoping to face a career politician who’s never created any jobs," he said, referring to his three terms as mayor of New York City, during which he created 400,000 jobs.

Between the lines: Through his policy rollout and travel, Bloomberg is trying to puncture a hole in the president's narrative of an economic boom for all Americans.

  • Bloomberg is visiting a community college on the South Side of Chicago, an area that is facing high levels of poverty even though it's in one of the country's wealthiest cities.
  • He'll speak to the concerns of displaced manufacturing workers in Akron, Ohio after that, and meet with farmers in Wells, Minn., who have been negatively affected by Trump's trade wars.

The big picture: Despite his late entrance into the 2020 presidential race, Bloomberg hasn't wasted any time releasing policy proposals and taking on Trump directly.

  • His "All-in economy" agenda starts with an investment in education and vocational training, so that Americans can get the skills that employers are prioritizing for hiring.
  • The plan also proposes launching "a major public research and development initiative in industries like agriculture, manufacturing, and medicine" to stimulate job growth.
  • Bloomberg also calls for a $15 minimum wage, an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit to better help gig-economy workers, and a proposed investment in rural broadband access.

A Bloomberg campaign official told Axios on the call yesterday that the exact costs of the plan are still being sorted out because "all of the plans he’s issuing are intertwined."

  • The campaign said they'll be releasing tax- and spending-related plans for Bloomberg's various policies "in the coming weeks."
  • While there's no hook to the release of this plan, Bloomberg's 2020 team said, given his focus on Super Tuesday, it's important to have "as many critical policy positions out for voters to understand and discuss sooner than later."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Iran rejects nuclear talks with U.S., for now

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at Iran/EU talks in 2015. Photo: Carlos Barria/POOL/AFP via Getty

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that conditions are not ripe for informal nuclear talks between Iran, the U.S. and other world powers.

Why it matters: The Biden administration had proposed the talks as part of its efforts to negotiate a path back to the 2015 nuclear deal. The White House expressed disappointment with Iran's response, but said it remained willing to engage with Tehran.

2 hours ago - Health

U.S. sets weekend records for daily COVID vaccinations

A driver waits to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Inglewood, California on Feb. 26. Photo: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just over 2.4 million coronavirus vaccinations were reported to the CDC on Sunday, matching Saturday's record-high for inoculations as seen in Bloomberg's vaccine tracker.

Why it matters: Vaccinations are ramping up again after widespread delays caused by historic winter storms. Over 75 million vaccine doses have been administered thus far, with 7.5% of the population fully vaccinated and 15% having received at least one dose.

GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy: "We will lose" if we continue to idolize Trump

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday he does not believe that former President Trump will, or should, be the Republican nominee for president in 2024.

What he's saying: Cassidy pointed out that "over the last four years, [Republicans] lost the House of Representatives, the Senate and the presidency. That has not happened ... since Herbert Hoover."