Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has hit his primary rival Michael Bloomberg for spending “hundreds of millions of dollars on TV ads” to “buy the presidency” as the former New York City mayor is gaining traction in the race.
During a campaign in Carson City, Nevada, on Sunday, Feb. 16, Sanders reminded Bloomberg that he could not create enough energy and excitement to beat the incumbent president though he is using money to buy his way into the election.
“Regardless how much money a multibillionaire candidate is willing to spend on his election, we will not create the energy and excitement we need to defeat Donald Trump if that candidate pursued, advocated for, and enacted racist policies like Stop and Frisk,” Sanders said as reported by The Hill.
Bloomberg has reportedly poured more than $417 million of his own multibillion-dollar fortune into TV ads nationwide, more than any Democratic presidential candidate in a primary.
“Well, you buy the presidency, at least he’s gonna try to buy the presidency, by spending hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars on TV ads,” Sanders said. “I didn’t see Mike in Iowa … I didn’t see Mike in New Hampshire … hey you know what? I didn’t see him here in Nevada!”
Bloomberg was absence from the early primary states as mentioned by Sanders, but his ad spending is making him qualified for the next round of Democratic debates in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
“He thinks he can buy this election,” Sanders said. “Well, I’ve got news for Mr. Bloomberg, and that is the American people are sick and tired of billionaires buying elections.”
Beside the Vermont senator, other rival Democrats have also targeted Bloomberg, accusing the former mayor of trying to buy election, according to The Associated Press.
Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” former Vice President Joe Biden said Bloomberg would face increased scrutiny as the race continues, pointing to his record on issues relating to race.
“$60 billion can buy you a lot of advertising, but it can’t erase your record,” he said, regarding to Bloomberg’s fortune.
Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) accused Bloomberg of avoiding scrutiny by blanketing the airwaves and sidestepping debates or tough televised interviews.
“I think he cannot hide behind the airwaves and the money. I think he has to come on the shows,” she said, adding that she can beat Bloomberg on the debate stage.