Bernie Sanders says the “arrogance of billionaires” is driving Michael Bloomberg to join the crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls who often target the ultra-rich, but yet have no clear leader to take on Donald Trump.
The Vermont senator certainly did not mince his words as he lambasted his rival for jumping into the race and skipping key states for campaigning.
“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. What you do is you take out, I guess a couple of billion dollars, and you buy the state of California,” Sanders said to ABC news.
Bloomberg is indeed no small-timer when it comes to personal wealth, which, according to Forbes, amounts to $52.3 billion as of November 10. That makes him the ninth richest person in the world and the sixth in the US. In fact, his wealth makes the current President (and billionaire) Donald Trump – with his net worth of $3.1 billion – look really bleak.
Sanders has built his campaign on a particular promise of taxing the ultra-rich, with other Democrats following suit, and he believes that “the billionaire class is scared and they should be scared.”
“Tonight we say to Michael Bloomberg and other billionaires: Sorry, you ain’t gonna buy this election,” Sanders said.
So far, Bloomberg only reportedly filed paperwork needed to register in the Alabama primary. His adviser, meanwhile, told the American media that the “final decision” has not been made yet.Bloomberg called Trump “an unprecedented threat to our nation” shortly before registering as a candidate for primaries in Alabama, according to his adviser Howard Wolfson. Yet, it might not be the only reason for his decision.
While Wolfson admitted that Bloomberg grew uneasy about the “trajectory” of the Democratic Party, the New York Times, which reported on the story, said that the billionaire was skeptical about former Vice President Joe Biden’s prospects of winning the nomination and did not see Sanders or other leading ‘progressive’ – Elizabeth Warren – as “strong” rivals to Trump.
There is certainly no love lost between Bloomberg and Sanders as, four years ago, during the last presidential campaign, the billionaire voiced his intention to enter the presidential race as an independent candidate should the Democrats nominate Sanders.
This time, however, his decision might help Sanders get the nomination instead of denying it to him. Bloomberg enters an already tight race as another centrist opposing the ‘progressives’ and is likely to further erode support for the likes of Biden who he would apparently like to see at the top.