Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 presidential hopeful who has teeter-tottered in the top ranks of national and state polls, trained his political aim Sunday on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the wake of his official announcement that he’s making a run for the White House.
According to The Hill, Sanders, who has consistently campaigned against the ultra-wealthy class, hammered the billionaire businessman at a campaign event, claiming that Bloomberg’s wealth doesn’t entitle him to a run for the presidency.
“We do not believe that billionaires have the right to buy elections, and that is why we are going to overturn Citizens United, that is why multi-billionaires like Mr. Bloomberg are not going to get very far in this election, that is why we are going to end voter suppression in America,” Sanders told the audience.
This is not the first time Sanders has sent Bloomberg an unwelcoming message. Last month during an Iowa campaign stop, Sanders made clear that the 2020 presidential election was not for sale.
“Tonight we say to Michael Bloomberg and other billionaires: Sorry you ain’t gonna buy this election,” he said at the event last month.
Bloomberg, who is estimated to be worth a staggering $54 billion, formally entered the heated race on Sunday and joined a still-sizeable field of Democratic candidates whose ideologies span from moderate to self-described Democratic socialism.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a spokesperson for Bloomberg revealed on Saturday that the billionaire businessman will not be accepting any outside donations for his presidential campaign, essentially pledging to self-fund the entire campaign.
“He has never taken a political contribution in his life. He is not about to start,” Bloomberg chief adviser Howard Wolfson said. “He cannot be bought.”
Wolfson also argued that one of Bloomberg’s strengths is his vast wealth, claiming that he’s resistant to outside influence by special interests.
Political analysts haven’t ruled out Bloomberg’s chances for making up ground in the 2020 race, given his ability to pump cash into enormous ad buys in key early-voting states. The former mayor already sent shockwaves through the Democratic field after recently announced a $31.5 million ad campaign, which would generally not be financially viable for any of the mid-to-top tier Democratic candidates.
Bloomberg, who is seen as a political centrist, could pose the most immediate threat to candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
But Biden doesn’t seem too worried about the prospect of running against him, as he recently said that he would “welcome the competition” should Bloomberg join the race, as reported by The Inquisitr.
Bloomberg’s announcement came just days after former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick officially announced his candidacy.