Bloomberg for President? Current Candidates Cold to Idea

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Mon, Jan 25 - 1:08 am EDT | 3 months ago by
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Several big names have come out against the notion of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg entering the presidential race, but Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has issued the strongest challenge to the idea. According to the Democratic primary candidate, a Bloomberg run would simply mean opening up another avenue for the wealthy to control the country.

Sanders, who has campaigned on a democratic socialist platform that favors a strong middle class and a much smaller gap between the poor and the rich, blasted Bloomberg on Sunday. “What I have been saying for a long time is that this country is moving away from democracy to oligarchy, that billionaires are the people who are controlling our political life,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Jazz at Lincoln Center

The Independent senator expressed disappointment that he could find himself running against Bloomberg on one side and real estate billionaire Donald Trump on the other. “That is not what, to my view, American democracy is supposed to be about — a contest between billionaires,” he said. “If that takes place, I am confident that we will win it.”

Bloomberg has indicated that he would only get into the race as an Independent candidate if Trump won the Republican nomination and Hillary Clinton lost out to Sanders on the Democratic side. According to a plan that he has reportedly shared with his associates, Bloomberg would put out a poll after the early primaries to test the field and would allocate as much as $1 billion of his personal funds toward his campaign coffers.

On the other side of the aisle from Sanders, the Republicans have dismissed the idea of a Bloomberg run. “If he becomes a candidate, then we’ll have a conversation about our differences,” said Florida Senator Marco Rubio. “If he’s just someone out there talking about running for president, well there’s a lot of people that have done that. As of now he’s just a private citizen who owns a big company.” Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush called Bloomberg a “good man,” but expressed that the chances of Bloomberg actually running are relatively modest.

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