The decade's most triggering comedy
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced early Wednesday that he is suspending his presidential campaign after he posted dismal results on Super Tueday, netting only a handful of delegates after spending nearly $500 million of his own money.
Bloomberg’s campaign announced Tuesday night that they were “reassessing,” after Bloomberg won only a single territory — American Samoa — and performed well below expectations in nearly every Super Tuesday primary state save Arkansas, where he made a solid third place showing, finishing just behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
CNN reported Tuesday night that a “sense of fear” was “sweeping through Bloomberg’s operation” and that his top advisors were considering how to make a graceful exit from the 2020 Democratic presidential contest. Wednesday morning, Bloomberg ended his run and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden,” Bloomberg wrote in a statement released to media.
Tuesday evening, the mood at Bloomberg’s event in West Palm Beach, Florida, was somber, and as the candidate took the stage, he focused less on what he achieved on Super Tuesday and more on his campaign as a whole.
“As the results come in, here is what is clear,” Bloomberg told the audience. “No matter how delegates we win tonight, we have done something no one else thought was possible.”
“In just three months,” he added, “we have gone from 1% in the polls to be a contender for the Democratic nomination for president.”
“Tonight, only one-third of delegates will be allotted,” one of his senior aides said, sorrowfully.
Bloomberg’s candidacy was, if nothing else, unique. He entered the race without a grassroots support mechanism and eschewed traditional fundraising methods, preferring, instead, to fund his own campaign and a massive, state-by-state advertising scheme that cost tens of millions of dollars.
The effort was so expensive, CNN reports, that the “full extent of Bloomberg’s spending likely won’t be fully known for weeks.”
“Bloomberg’s campaign, based on its level of spending and support, was banking on strong showings in Oklahoma, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and parts of Texas, according to aides,” CNN says, noting that the mayor had laid much of his strategy on winning big on Super Tuesday. “But it was clear by the end of the night…that the support they believed they had did not materialize.”
Bloomberg’s top aides were also, reportedly, concerned that he was hampering Biden by remaining in the contest. By Tuesday morning, all of the “moderate” candidates for the nomination had dropped out — former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg Sunday night and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) Monday morning — leaving Bloomberg as the only moderate challenger to the former Veep, and the only candidate in the race actively siphoning votes away from the effort to dethrone Sanders as the presumptive nominee.
President Donald Trump had strong words for his favorite foe Wednesday morning, posting on Twitter that “Mini Mike Bloomberg just ‘quit’ the race for President. I could have told him long ago that he didn’t have what it takes, and he would have saved himself a billion dollars, the real cost. Now he will pour money into Sleepy Joe’s campaign, hoping to save face. It won’t work!”
The Trump campaign also reminded social media that Bloomberg made the case for his own candidacy by zeroing in on Biden’s weakenesses.
“‘Mini’ Mike [said] in December,” the Trump War Room tweeted, “I think Trump is getting stronger and I think he would just eat alive [Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders] because they don’t have plans that I think are practical, that can be implemented. They don’t have management experience.”