“I’m disgusted by the idea that Michael Bloomberg or any other billionaire thinks they can circumvent the political process and spend tens of millions of dollars to buy our elections,” the Vermont senator said in a statement.
Bloomberg’s reported candidacy, according to Sanders, is “just the latest example of a rigged political system that we are going to change when we’re in the White House.”
“If you can’t build grassroots support for your candidacy, you have no business running for president.”
Sanders also predicted that the public will not react well to the billionaire’s candidacy.
“The American people are sick and tired of the power of billionaires, and I suspect they won’t react well to someone trying to buy an election,” he said.
Worth roughly $50 billion, Bloomberg will spend $31 million on a week-long ad blitz, which will make his the largest one-week political advertisement campaign in U.S. history.
Bloomberg has not even officially announced his candidacy yet, but he has already filed paperwork to appear on the ballot.
As The Hill notes, Sanders, whose campaign is funded by grassroots donations, could be one of the candidates most affected by Bloomberg’s “bottomless war chest,” given that the former New York City mayor is likely to run attack ads against progressive candidates and policies.
As journalist Astead W. Herndon reported via Twitter, Bloomberg is allegedly willing to spend between $500 million and $1 billion on his candidacy, which would almost certainly change the dynamics of the race, regardless of his position in the polls.
Centering much of his rhetoric and platform on the struggle against the “top one percent,” Sanders is known for championing populist and progressive policies, meant to address income and wealth inequality in the U.S.
In a recent interview, he called himself a “candidate of the working class,” pointing out that his campaigns are financed by ordinary Americans, and not by billionaires and corporations.
Sanders has released a number of ambitious policy proposals meant to address income inequality and fundamentally restructure the American economy.
I grew up in a rent-controlled apartment. My mother didn't live long enough to own her own home like she dreamed. I know what it means not to have money and that is why I will fight for the economic security of every American. pic.twitter.com/cY9cO2KseH— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 21, 2019
According to the Vermont senator, greed is the “religion” of the corporate elite, billionaires such as Bloomberg are addicted to money, and use their power to influence the political process.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, one of Sanders’ main competitors in the Democratic primary, weighed in on the race as well. Unlike Sanders, Biden said he “welcomes” the billionaire to the primary race.
In an interview, according to Time, Biden said that he welcomes the competition, arguing that he is “in better shape” than Bloomberg.