Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Saturday launched a broadside at Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City who is considering joining the Democratic primary, warning that he won’t be able to use his wealth to buy his way into the White House.
Sanders, the Vermont independent seeking the Democrat nomination, attacked Bloomberg at a rally in Iowa, where he had spent two days campaigning with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat, New York).
“Tonight we say to Michael Bloomberg and other billionaires: Sorry, you ain’t gonna buy this election,” Sander said.
If Bloomberg runs, he will be a rival to Sanders in obtaining the Democrat nomination.
Referring to income inequality Sanders said, “What this campaign is about is understanding that the working families of this country are sick and tired of working longer hours for lower wages while almost all new wealth and income goes to the top 1 percent.”
“I say to Michael Bloomberg and his billionaire friends: That is going to change.”
Sanders also scorned Bloomberg’s strategy of skipping early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire if he launches a presidential bid, and instead focus his efforts on the crush of states that vote on Super Tuesday.
“You’re not going to get elected president by avoiding Iowa, by avoiding New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada,” Sanders said. “You’re not going to buy this election by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on media in California. Those days are gone.”
Bloomberg’s candidacy has the potential to upend the Democratic race less than three months before primary voting begins. The businessman initially ruled out a 2020 run, but began to reconsider in recent weeks, citing concerns about the ability of the current crop of contenders to defeat US President Donald Trump.
Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent who registered as a Democrat last year, has flirted with a presidential run before but ultimately backed down, including in 2016. He endorsed Hillary Clinton in that race and, in a speech at the Democratic Party convention, pummeled Trump as a con who has oversold his business successes.