Former Democratic presidential candidate and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, recently slammed candidate Michael Bloomberg, who has been rising in the polls following a massive television ad spending spree.
"It's important for people to understand what's happening here," de Blasio said Monday on CNN Newsroom — per Newsweek — before attacking Bloomberg for using over $400 million of his vast wealth to garner votes.
"What it is masking is a lifetime of supporting those in power, he's the epitome of the power structure," he added.
Although the 58-year-old politician acknowledged that Bloomberg did positive things during his time as New York's mayor, he also claimed that he did harm as well.
"He's one of the richest people in the world and he pursued policies in New York City that made income inequality worse, that helped developers and big real estate folks and Wall Street at the expense of working people."Thus far, Bloomberg has spent approximately $418 million on television ads, which is around $100 million more than all of his Democratic competitors combined. The closest to his spending haul is fellow billionaire Tom Steyer, who has spent $194 million.
According to recent data, Bloomberg is in third place in national polling average behind Sanders in first and Joe Biden in second. Despite his polling success, the former mayor did not secure delegates in Iowa or New Hampshire. However, his campaign strategy has decided to skip focus on the early states and bank on a solid performance on Super Tuesday.In recent days, Bloomberg's controversial comments and record have come into the spotlight. Notably, Biden took aim at the billionaire's past and suggested that his spending blitz would ultimately not be enough to succeed in the primary.
"Sixty billion dollars can buy you a lot of advertising, but it can't erase your record," the former vice president said during a Sunday interview with NBC News' Meet the Press.
Bloomberg's remarks on the stop-and-frisk policy he enacted during his time as New York City mayor received praise from white nationalist Richard Spencer. The blessing comes as the billionaire received flak from everyone from Donald Trump — who called him racist — to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
"People lost their fathers, people lost their brothers," the 30-year-old politician said of those arrested under Bloomberg's controversial policy.
Bloomberg also took criticism for his claim that the 2008 housing crisis was fueled by the end of "redlining" — the systematic denial of services to specific neighborhoods, often low-income and majority-minority.