Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took aim at his latest rival, Michael Bloomberg (D), on Thursday for attempting to “buy the presidency” after Federal Election Commission (FEC) data showed the billionaire spending roughly $7 million per day on his last-minute election bid.
“Michael Bloomberg has no problem spending $7 MILLION a day so he can buy the presidency,” Sanders said. “Meanwhile, half our people live paycheck to paycheck. Our economy is rigged, and we must create one that works for all, not just billionaires”:
Sanders’ slam followed the release of FEC data showing Bloomberg spending $220 million on his campaign in January alone. NBC News put it in further perspective, noting that it “works out to just north of $7 million per day, about $300,000 per hour, roughly $5,000 per minute and approximately $82 per second.”
The former New York City mayor’s spending reached an estimated $464 million in December and January combined. He has reportedly dumped $124 million in Super Tuesday states in hopes of sweeping the March 3 primaries — a key strategy in bolstering his bid.
Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s campaign manager, is touting the billionaire as the “only candidate with the record and resources to build the national infrastructure Democrats need to beat Donald Trump.”
The filings also showed that Bloomberg’s campaign had $55 million in cash on hand, but the number is relatively meaningless, as Bloomberg has not disclosed how much he is willing to spend on his run.
Sparks flew between Bloomberg and his competitors at Wednesday’s Democrat debate, with Sanders questioning the former New York City mayor’s ability to increase voter turnout.
“In order to beat Donald Trump, we’re going to need the largest voter turnout in the history of the United States,” Sanders said.
“Mr. Bloomberg had policies in New York City of stop and frisk which went after African-American and Latino people in an outrageous way. That is not a way you’re going to grow voter turnout,” he added.
“Look, I’ll support whoever the Democratic nominee is. But understand this: Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) chimed in.
Pete Buttigieg (D) argued that both sides — the socialist tendencies of Sanders and Bloomberg spending billions to “buy” the election — are too extreme.
“Most Americans don’t see where they fit if they’ve got to choose between a socialist who thinks that capitalism is the root of all evil and a billionaire who thinks that money ought to be the root of all power,” Buttigieg said.
“Let’s put forward somebody who actually lives and works in a middle-class neighborhood, in an industrial Midwestern city. Let’s put forward somebody who’s actually a Democrat,” he added.