Billionaire and former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg does not plan on dropping out of the presidential race anytime soon.
In a new interview with NBC News, Bloomberg explained his reasoning, announcing that he will put up a fight at the convention, provided that Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont — the national frontrunner — ends up with a plurality, but not a majority, of the delegates.
“Why would I spend all of this money, all of this time out of my life, and wear and tear, you know, which I love — incidentally, (it) reminds me of my three campaigns in New York for mayor, which I did like,” Bloomberg said.
“But yeah sure, I love it, I am going to stay right to the bitter end, as long as I have a chance,” he added.
Asked specifically about what he would do in the case of a brokered convention, Bloomberg said that he would not drop out if another candidate had a plurality of the delegates. Instead, the billionaire revealed he would stay in the race and do all he can to win the nomination.
“I mean, if it was one vote away from a majority, then you’d have to start thinking about (getting out). But yeah, if it’s just a plurality, you got to be in it to win it,” he said, stressing that he would “run harder.”
As NBC News notes, Bloomberg is running an unconventional campaign, having skipped the key early states. The billionaire has instead focused on Super Tuesday competitions, spending an unprecedented amount of money on advertisements, and apparently hoping to generate support using his tremendous wealth and power.
The strategy is working, at least to an extent, given that Bloomberg is polling in third place nationwide, behind Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Bloomberg’s comments about the convention come amid intense speculation about what party insiders would do if Sanders leads in the number of national delegates but does not have a majority. During the Democratic debate in Nevada, the Vermont senator was the only White House hopeful to state that the candidate with the most delegates should be the nominee.
Bloomberg has said that he would back any Democratic candidate — including Sanders — in a general election against President Donald Trump. The Sanders campaign has responded by saying that the senator would not accept the billionaire’s help.
Some claim that Bloomberg dropping out of the race before the convention would be beneficial to Biden. According to some Democratic donors and strategists, Biden’s path to the nomination would clear with Bloomberg out of the race, as the former vice president would be able to consolidate moderate support.
With Bloomberg staying in the competition, those close to Biden reportedly fear, Sanders could run away with the nomination, winning a majority of the delegates on the first ballot.