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Michael Bloomberg prepares to enter 2020 presidential race: report
The Democratic primary just got what all progressive voters are surely clamoring for: a white male billionaire in his 70s.
Bloomberg prepares to enter the 2020 race
Bloomberg’s reported entry into the race comes as the primary is splitting between a moderate, Joe Biden, and the more progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who has made Medicare for All and anti-Wall Street rhetoric the linchpins of her campaign. Bloomberg, who would run as a moderate, has reportedly wanted to enter the race if Biden falters.
Bloomberg ruled out running in March, but reports surfaced last month that the some-time Democrat, some-time Republican was having second thoughts as Biden’s campaign showed signs of losing steam. With Warren surging, Biden’s frontrunner status has eroded somewhat in recent weeks.
The billionaire is prepared to spend more than $100 million on the race, CNBC reported. Howard Wolfson, a Bloomberg aide, said that Bloomberg is concerned that no Democrats currently running can beat Donald Trump.
“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well-positioned to do that,” Wolfson said.
Wolfson added, “If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist. Based on his record of accomplishment, leadership and his ability to bring people together to drive change, Mike would be able to take the fight to Trump and win.”
Are Dems ready for a billionaire?
Like Biden, Bloomberg’s pitch is expected to be that he can beat Donald Trump and, with billions of dollars in the coffers, can sustain a self-funded campaign. That makes for a contrast with Biden, whose fundraising efforts have fallen behind top competitors like Warren, raising concerns with donors and supporters.
Bloomberg, who served three terms as mayor of New York between 2001 and 2013, has switched parties over the years, but he has also contributed heavily to progressive causes like gun control and fighting climate change. The billionaire donated $100 million to help Democrats in last year’s midterm elections after registering as a Democrat.
The former mayor has bashed Warren and her “soak the rich” rhetoric in the past, comparing it to Venezuelan socialism. Warren, who has been involved in a back-and-forth with billionaires like Bill Gates over her wealth tax, welcomed Bloomberg to the race by sharing a link to her “calculator for billionaires.”
Bloomberg now joins fellow billionaire Tom Steyer, who recently jumped into the race to criticism from the left. Needless to say, a rich white male in his 70s hardly seems like the person that Democrats hope will take back the White House — and 2020 Democrats made that sentiment known, calling Bloomberg’s campaign an attempt to “buy” the presidency.
“Let’s call Michael Bloomberg’s attempt to buy the presidency for what it is: Yet another example of the wealthy wanting our government and economy to only work for themselves,” Warren’s campaign said. “When faced with the prospect of paying his fair share in taxes so that we can level the playing field for working families, Bloomberg has chosen to protect his wealth over everyone else — and that’s why he’d rather spend enormous amounts of money on a presidential run than pay taxes.”
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