The presidential campaign of former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is denying it is scaling down its advertising efforts amid pressure to drop out.
The controversy started on Monday when a reporter for New York magazine, Olivia Nuzzi, noted that Facebook Advertising analytics indicated the former mayor’s campaign was cutting back on the number of new ads it was launching before Super Tuesday.
“Mike Bloomberg is taking his foot off the gas on Facebook ad spending,” Nuzzi wrote on social media. “Yesterday, Bloomberg launched hundreds of new Facebook ads. Today, he’s only launched a handful, totaling only a few hundred dollars.”
NEWS: The day before Super Tuesday, Mike Bloomberg is taking his foot off the gas on Facebook ad spending. Yesterday, Bloomberg launched hundreds of new Facebook ads. Today, he’s only launched a handful, totaling only a few hundred dollars.
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) March 2, 2020
Nuzzi added that both Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg took a similar course of action in the hours before they announced their exit from the 2020 race.
Bloomberg’s campaign, however, disputes the claim. Sabrina Singh, Bloomberg’s senior national spokeswoman, took to social media in an attempt to correct the record shortly after Nuzzi’s revelations started to make headway. In particular, Singh argued that the Bloomberg campaign was not tapering its ad spending and would, in fact, spend more than one million on pushing existing ads on Monday.
This is patently false, as I told you twice. We are spending over $1M on FB alone today. https://t.co/hVKyXwCavs
— Sabrina Singh (@sabrinasingh24) March 2, 2020
Shortly after Singh issued her response, Bloomberg senior advisor Tim O’Brien entered the fray to further dispute the allegation the campaign was taking its “foot … off anything.”
Nah. And nah, again. We haven’t taken our foot off anything – including the gas. Ƕ https://t.co/zweMaqLikQ
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) March 2, 2020
The flareup between Bloomberg’s campaign and the press comes as pressure mounts for the former New York City mayor to drop out. On Monday, such calls began to intensify after Klobuchar opted to drop her own 2020 bid and endorse former Vice President Joe Biden. Klobuchar’s move, which came on the heels of a similar decision by Pete Buttigieg, coincided with a series of endorsements for Biden by establishment power brokers, like former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
Bloomberg, for his part, however, seems to be unfazed by calls for his departure. During a campaign swing through Virginia on Monday, the former mayor asserted he was “in it to win it!”