Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took aim at former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a campaign blitz in Iowa over the weekend, sending a pointed message: “Sorry, you ain’t going to buy this election.”
Sanders spent the weekend campaigning in Iowa alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and addressed Bloomberg’s tango with entering the Democrat race, warning the billionaire that he “ain’t going to buy this election”:
Tonight we say to Michael Bloomberg and other billionaires: Sorry, you’re not going to buy this election. pic.twitter.com/15sVnuPxwR
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 10, 2019
“Our campaign is going to end a corrupt political system dominated by billionaires and wealthy campaign contributors,” Sanders told the crowd in Coralville, Iowa, on Saturday.
“Our campaign is going to end the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality which exists in America today. So tonight, we say to Michael Bloomberg and other billionaires, ‘Sorry, you ain’t going to buy this election,'” the presidential hopeful said to cheers.
Sources close to Bloomberg say he is “increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned” to defeat Trump in 2020 and note that he is willing to “spend whatever it takes to defeat Donald Trump.”
“Mike will spend whatever it takes to defeat Donald Trump,” the source close to the former mayor told Axios. “The nation is about to see a very different campaign than we’ve ever seen before.”
Bloomberg, if he runs, would not focus on early primary and caucus states, focusing instead on Super Tuesday states. Sanders dismissed the strategy.
“You’re not going to get elected president by avoiding Iowa, by avoiding New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. You’re not going to buy this election by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on media in California,” Sanders said. “Those days are gone.”
Sanders suggested during an interview with ABC that Bloomberg’s concerns are rooted in arrogance and slammed him for refusing to meet with “ordinary people” in early primary and caucus states.
“I’m doing five events this weekend right here in Iowa,” Sanders said. “We’re all over New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, California.”
“But he’s too important. You see, when you’re worth $50 billion, I guess you don’t have to have town meetings. You don’t have to talk to ordinary people,” he continued.
“What you do is you take out, I guess, a couple of billion dollars, and you buy the state of California,” he added.
Ocasio-Cortez echoed her candidate’s concerns.
“I don’t think billionaires should be president right now,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“I don’t think that that’s what this country needs, and I think that is going to take us further in the direction of wealth and political power concentrating at the very, very top of our country, and I think that our democracy should be for everyday people, not for purchase,” she added.