Though Michael Bloomberg has gotten little traction in the polls since announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination last year, the billionaire told Reuters this weekend that he’s open to spending virtually unlimited amounts of her personal wealth in order to make sure President Donald Trump does not get reelected.
Running on a platform that is essentially built around convincing voters that he stands the best chance of beating Trump in a one-on-one general election, Bloomberg has poured millions into TV ads and social media campaign messages since jumping into the race in November.
“Number one priority is to get rid of Donald Trump,” he told Reuters. “I’m spending all my money to get rid of Trump.”
Bloomberg said he had little use for the criticism coming from competitors like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who have accused him of trying to buy the White House.
“These are just political things they say, hoping they catch on and they don’t like me doing it because it competes with them,” he said. “Not because it’s bad policy.”
While Bloomberg lags well behind the top two competitors in the race, Biden and Sanders, he has managed to secure a fifth place position in most national polls. There’s something to be said for that, considering how relatively late he jumped in the game and the fact that he has not been on a debate stage yet. Indeed, because the DNC structured the debates around how many individual donors each candidate can demonstrate, it’s unlikely that Bloomberg will ever be on that stage.
Furthermore, Bloomberg will not be on the ballot in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, or South Carolina, giving the other Democrats a chance to build some swift momentum before facing Bloomberg on Super Tuesday in March. Bloomberg’s gambit is that he can not only outspend the other candidates by a factor of…well, by any factor he chooses…but that he can persuade the Democratic voting base that he is exactly the kind of moderate who can defeat the president.
“One of the reasons I’m reasonably confident I could beat Trump is I would be acceptable to the moderate Republicans you have to have,” said Bloomberg. “Whether you like it or not, you can’t win the election unless you get moderate Republicans to cross the line. The others are much too liberal for them and they would certainly vote for Donald Trump.”
Thus far, there is little indication that Bloomberg is a serious threat to win the nomination. Having already spent north of $200 million on the race (and having secured an appearance from TV’s Judge Judy), he only managed to attract 45 people to his latest rally in San Antonio, Texas.