Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday took a swipe at rival candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), asserting that nominating Sanders for president would doom the Democrats in the November elections.
“Look, the real winner of the debate last night was Donald Trump, because I worry that we may be on the way to nominating someone who cannot win in November,” Bloomberg said at a campaign event in Salt Lake City, Utah. The nomination of Sanders, “who appeals to a small base,” would be a “fatal error,” Bloomberg asserted.
However, the former mayor indicated he would support whoever the Democratic nominee turns out to be.
“If one of them wins the nomination—God forbid—I will support her or him,” Bloomberg said.
“‘The real winner last night was Donald Trump.’ Mini Mike Bloomberg. I agree!” President Trump wrote on Twitter following Bloomberg’s comments.
Bloomberg has risen in primary polls even after his late entry to the race, in part through a massive advertising campaign that has so far cost well over $300 million, dwarfing expenditures of rival candidates. However, Sanders has gained momentum after winning the New Hampshire Primary and finishing a close second in the Iowa Caucus, while two national polls released on Wednesday give the Vermont senator a double-digit lead over his rivals.
Bloomberg has previously said he would help fund the Democratic nominee for president, even if the nominee is someone other than himself.
“Mike Bloomberg is either going to be the nominee or the most important person supporting the Democratic nominee for president,” Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey told NBC in January. “He is dedicated to getting Trump out of the White House.”