In comments to reporters on Friday, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar lashed out at would-be rival Michael Bloomberg.
“I literally believe people want something different than another wealthy person in the White House. I believe that in my heart,” Klobuchar said in New Hampshire.
The senator was reacting to news that Bloomberg – who has yet to officially announce his candidacy – is set to roll out a multimillion dollar ad campaign next week. And she wasn’t the only one vying for the nomination to take a dim view of the billionaire’s bucks.
“I’m disgusted by the idea that Michael Bloomberg or any other billionaire thinks they can circumvent the political process and spend tens of millions of dollars to buy our elections,” said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in a statement.
Back in New Hampshire, Klobuchar said, “I just don’t think you should be able to have billionaires with an unfair advantage in this election. I am not going to be able to compete with the money of Bloomberg or Steyer. That is true.”
Well, at the moment, Klobuchar doesn’t seem able to compete with…well, really anyone running for president, so her insinuation that she’s being held back by Tom Steyer or Michael Bloomberg is a little bit silly. Last we checked, Steyer’s millions aren’t doing him a lot of good in the polls.
Sen. Cory Booker, another Democrat whose candidacy is going nowhere fast, also said he had a problem with Bloomberg’s ad buying blitz.
“When I was a mayor, Mike was one of those mentor mayors to me,” Booker said. “But when it comes to presidential politics, your qualifier should not be money. It should not put you at an advantage over other candidates who might have incredible service and accomplishments and the like.”
For now, it’s still unclear what Bloomberg’s strategy is – or even if he’s ever going to announce his candidacy. He’s filed to be on the ballot in Alabama and a handful of other states, and he’s filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission. But as for an official announcement, it’s still radio silence from the Bloomberg camp. His advisors have told the press that he plans to run a national campaign and skip the fights over the early primary states, which sounds like a strategy doomed to fail. And if the Democratic base is looking for a liberal champion, there are certainly better places to look than the former Republican mayor of New York City.
Update: On Sunday, Bloomberg officially announced he’s running for the Democratic nomination.