SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) – U.S. presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg told Reuters he is ready to spend much of his vast fortune to oust Republican President Donald Trump from the White House in 2020, rejecting criticism from rivals for the Democratic nomination that the billionaire is trying to buy the U.S. election.
Ranked by Forbes as the eighth-richest American, Bloomberg has flooded U.S. airwaves and social media feeds with messages that he stands the best chance to beat Trump, spending more on campaign ads since he launched his campaign in November than his main Democratic rivals have over the last year.
“Number one priority is to get rid of Donald Trump. I’m spending all my money to get rid of Trump,” Bloomberg told Reuters aboard his campaign bus on Saturday, during a nearly 300-mile (483-km) drive across Texas, one of the 14 states that will vote on Super Tuesday on March 3.
“Do you want me to spend more or less? End of story.”
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of the leading Democratic presidential contenders who has vowed to get money out of politics, blasted Bloomberg when he launched his campaign with a $37-million TV advertising blitz, accusing the former New York City mayor of trying to buy American democracy.
“These are just political things they say, hoping they catch on and they don’t like me doing it, because it competes with them, not because it’s bad policy,” Bloomberg said.
After entering the race late and missing the first six Democratic debates, Bloomberg generally sits fifth in national public opinion polls behind Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Warren and Pete Buttigieg.
But not just the two liberal standard-bearers of Warren and Sanders, all of the four are too liberal to beat Trump, Bloomberg said.