By Mary Margaret Olohan
Sen. Bernie Sanders is marking out a different position on billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s decision to jump in the White House race than that of Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez.
“You’re not going to buy this election,” the Vermont senator said Saturday during a climate summit in Des Moines, Iowa. Sanders, who is running for president as a Democrat, was referring to the former New York City mayor’s last-minute decision to join the contest.
“That is the arrogance of billionaires,” Sanders told ABC News Saturday. “As I understand it, he’s planning to skip the first four states. We’re doing five events this weekend right here in Iowa, all over New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, California. But he’s too important.”
Bloomberg directed staffers to gather signatures in Alabama to qualify for the Democratic primary in the state, which had a Friday deadline for entrance into the race. He is expected to pose a substantial problem for former Vice President Joe Biden, a moderate candidate struggling to raise cash.
Bloomberg is one of two billionaires who are vying to beat President Donald Trump, himself a billionaire who won the 2016 presidential race in an improbably fashion. Hedge fund manager Tom Steyer is also angling to spend millions of dollars on a long-shot Democratic presidential campaign.
Sanders is using Bloomberg’s candidacy as a cudgel against what he sees is wealthy ownership of the party. “You see, when you’re worth $50 billion, I guess you don’t have to have town meetings, you don’t have to talk to ordinary people,” he added during the ABC interview.
Tonight we say to Michael Bloomberg and other billionaires: Sorry, you’re not going to buy this election. pic.twitter.com/15sVnuPxwR
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 10, 2019
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York joined Sanders in the interview in Iowa. She mirrored his position.
“I don’t think billionaires should be president right now,” Ocasio-Cortez, a Sanders supporter, said during the interview. Sanders’s remarks Saturday stand in contrast to those from Perez, who told CNN Friday that he welcomes Bloomberg to the race.
Warren campaign pounces on Bezos for pushing ‘like-minded billionaires to run for president’
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign attacked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Sunday for pushing former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg to run for president.
A Sunday campaign email from the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate highlights Bezos’s support for Bloomberg. The former mayor, who is a billionaire, is reportedly pondering joining the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
“It’s no wonder billionaires like Jeff Bezos are making calls to urge like-minded billionaires to run for president themselves,” the campaign email said. “They want a friend in the Oval Office that will cater to their every need — and they know Elizabeth won’t be that person.”
The email calls on supporters to donate to the Warren campaign, promising to root out corruption and reminding readers that the Warren campaign relies on grassroots supporters rather than wealthy donors.
“This is what happens when you threaten to root out the corruption that has taken our government hostage,” the email warned. “The wealthy and well-connected will always have each other’s backs if it means having a Washington that caters to their every need.”
A poll Morning Consult conducted and released Sunday found that Bloomberg would beat President Donald Trump in a hypothetical election matchup. The poll showed Bloomberg polling at 43% while Trump polled at 37%. Twenty-one percent of those polled are undecided or don’t know who they would vote for.
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