Democratic presidential candidates are attacking former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg in the run-up to the Nevada Primary, accusing him of attempting to “buy” the election in a massive spending spree.
“He thinks he can buy this election,” Senator Bernie Sanders (D., Vt.) told a crowd in Carson City, Nevada on Sunday. “Well, I’ve got news for Mr. Bloomberg: the American people are sick and tired of billionaires buying elections!”
Bloomberg has spent $417 million of his own $60 billion fortune on advertising for his campaign, even as he sits out the first four state primaries, including Nevada. RealClearPolitics polling averages currently show Bloomberg with 14.2 percent of the national vote, behind Joe Biden (19.2 percent) and Bernie Sanders (23.6 percent).
“I think he cannot hide behind the airwaves and the money,” Senator Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) told CBS’s Face the Nation. “I think he has to come on the shows. And I personally think he should be on the debate stage.”
“$60 billion can buy you a lot of advertising, but it can’t erase your record,” Joe Biden said on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
Bloomberg is also facing scrutiny from Democrats over his past willingness to switch parties and donate to causes on both sides of the aisle. During his term as mayor, Bloomberg ran in elections as a Republican.
It is unclear whether Bloomberg will meet the qualifications needed to enter the Democratic debate scheduled for this Wednesday in Las Vegas.