In an interview with MSNBC broadcast on Saturday, Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro weighed in on billionaire Michael Bloomberg‘s decision to formally enter the crowded Democratic primary field, reports Mediaite.
Speaking to host Rev. Al Sharpton, Castro explained that he believes American voters are not looking for an individual like Bloomberg, expressing skepticism about the billionaire’s chances at winning the nomination.
“Everybody is entitled to run. At the same time, I don’t get the sense after having traveled the country for 11 months now, I don’t get the sense that what folks are looking for is a billionaire savior.”
Castro did not qualify for the December debate, but he has not dropped out of the race yet. Offering a different vision than Bloomberg, Castro explained that his goal is to raise issues other candidates are not raising.
“I haven’t been afraid to speak up for those who often don’t have a voice, to fight for those who need fighting for, and to tackle subjects, whether it’s immigration or police reform, or a number of other issues that other candidates shy away from,” he said.
“Because that’s the kind of America that we need to build where everyone counts,” Castro added.
Bloomberg, formerly the mayor of New York City, is worth around $50 billion, and he officially entered the presidential race last week, announcing that he will spend $31 million on a seven-day TV advertisement blitz. He will allegedly spend between $500 million and $1 billion on the race.
Other candidates have also weighed in on the billionaire’s candidacy, including Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has long decried the influence of money in politics, relying on small-dollar, grassroots donations to finance his campaigns.
Much like Castro, Sanders said that billionaires like Bloomberg “are not going to get very far in this election,” vowing to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision if elected in 2020.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is currently leading in national polls, also discussed the billionaire’s candidacy, stating that he “welcomes” Bloomberg to the race, but arguing that he is in “better shape” to win the nomination.
Michael Bloomberg is the latest billionaire to jump into the 2020 race. Why now? His campaign manager tells me Bloomberg thinks if he doesn't, Trump will win. In particular, "the impeachment proceedings are making the president's re-election more likely, not less likely." pic.twitter.com/bU3k1vxOGt— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) November 27, 2019
Although Bloomberg may not become the Democratic nominee, his late entry could change the dynamics of the race, given that he is likely to spend a significant amount of money attacking other candidates and policy proposals he disagrees with.
According to the RealClearPolitics average of polling data, Biden and Sanders are leading the Democratic field. The former vice president is polling at 27 percent nationally, and Sanders is in second place with around 18 percent of the primary electorate backing him.