Axelrod: Bloomberg’s Strategy Failed — He Blew It With ‘Horrific’ First Debate

Former Obama senior advisor David Axelrod said Monday on CNN that 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg’s strategy for getting to the general election to take on President Donald Trump failed, blaming his “horrific first debate” performance.

CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson said, “He has been banking it, $400 million, all on Super Tuesday and banking on the idea that Joe Biden would be weak and that is why he got into the race, and Joe Biden had a very, very strong showing out of South Carolina. You can see that the moderates are coalescing around him, and the idea that he is coming out of Super Tuesday, and we will see how many delegates he gets and where does he get the 15% in the 14 states and 16 contests altogether, but the rationale for moving forward does not seem to be there, and the ultimate rationale is to beat Donald Trump. Does he think that he can beat Donald Trump or see somebody in the field like Joe Biden, who is more likely to beat Donald Trump, and is he ultimately standing in the way by staying in the race?”

Axelrod said, “Well, you put your finger right on it. They had a strategy, and the strategy is that Biden, who was looking weak at the time they got into the race, would not make it through four primaries and the South Carolina firewall would not hold and that Bloomberg could pick up the pieces on Super Tuesday and become the challenger to Bernie Sanders in this race. Obviously, that did not work because Joe Biden came roaring out of South Carolina. He is going to get some kind of bounce and could be big bounce. Just as those votes that Bloomberg is getting are coming from Biden, the votes from Biden are coming from Bloomberg. So Bloomberg could be much less well on Super Tuesday than his plans made him. ”

He added, “I’ll tell you something from someone who made political ads for a living for many, many years. There is a limit to them. They can create interest and maybe support, but that support is fragile, and people will resolve their questions based on what they see with their own two eyes when Michael Bloomberg stepped out on that stage in that debate and had such a horrific first debate and took the beating particularly from Senator Warren, a lot of the effect of the ads was reduced because people saw him in real life. He has a formidable record in many different realms, but he is not a good performer, and some of the issues are bad issues in the Democratic Party.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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