Socialist Bernie Sanders attacked Democrat presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday night during a CNN town hall, saying that Bloomberg’s wealth was “offensive,” yet he refused to indicate whether he would accept financial help from Bloomberg to beat President Donald Trump.
“Tomorrow night, for the first time, you’re going to be on a debate stage with the former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, perhaps you’ve heard this. Two polls out today show that he’s your closest competition,” CNN’s Anderson Cooper said. “Right now, do you see him as the biggest threat to you, to getting the nomination?”
“This is what I do know and this I feel very strongly about,” Sanders said. “You know, Mr. Bloomberg has every right in the world to run for president of the United States. He’s an American citizen. But I don’t think he has the right to buy this election. … I think it’s a bit obscene that we have somebody who, by the way, chose not to contest in Iowa, in Nevada, in South Carolina, in New Hampshire where all of the candidates – we did town meetings, we were talking to thousands and thousands of people, working hard – he said, ‘I don’t have to do that. I’m worth $60 billion. I have more wealth than the bottom 125 million Americans. I’ll buy the presidency.’ That offends me very much.”
Moments later, Sanders was asked by an audience member, “If nominated, would you accept help from billionaires like Bloomberg and if not, why throw away something that can make a huge difference in winning 2020?”
Sanders repeatedly refused to answer the question.
Bernie Sanders dodged a question three times about whether he would accept Michael Bloomberg's money in the general election.
Very telling that Sanders couldn't answer such a simple question. pic.twitter.com/e0AmVvIEU0
— Francis Brennan (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@FrancisBrennan) February 19, 2020
“Well, thank you very much for the question. And let me differentiate how we raise money from how Mr. Bloomberg does and I’ll answer your question. I am enormously proud and our supporters are proud that we have received more campaign contributions, 7 million, from more Americans, 1.5 million Americans, than any candidate in the history of the United States of America,” Sanders responded. “Now, I don’t go to rich people’s homes to raise money. We don’t have a super pac. But our contribution is — average contribution is all of $18.50. We’re going to win this election, because we are putting together the strongest grassroots movement in the modern history of this country where millions of people are going to be out there knocking on doors doing everything that they can to defeat Donald Trump, who in my view, is the most dangerous president in the United States.”
Sanders continued, “Let me just say this, I think I can speak for all of the other democratic candidates, many of whom are longtime friends of mine and that is, on day one, when I announced my candidacy, I said, obviously, we were going to do everything that we can to win, but if I did not win the nomination, I would support vigorously the candidate who would won, because Donald Trump must be defeated.”
Cooper pressed Sanders on the issue, saying, “So let me just follow up on that. Ana was specifically asking, would you accept — if Michael Bloomberg doesn’t get it, you get the nomination, if he says, ‘I’ve got $500 million left over that I’m going to give to you’, would you accept that?”
Sanders responded, “Well, what I did say is that if Mr. Bloomberg wins, and I certainly hope he does not, I will support the democratic nominee. As of right now, we have not taken — we don’t have a super pac, we’re not asking for a super pac. That is my position right now.”
“So you’re not sure if you would take the money or not?” Cooper asked.
Sanders refused to answer, at which point Cooper said, “Okay, I’ll leave it there.”
The audience burst out laughing.