Bloomberg to participate in first nomination debate

Published by Scott Challinor on February 19th 2020, 7:00am

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, one of the presidential candidates for the Democratic Party, will participate in his first nomination debate in the US state of Nevada on Wednesday.

Bloomberg made the cut after an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll indicated that 19 per cent of those surveyed supported him. Candidates needed to secure double figures in order to appear in the debate.

Bloomberg was second in the poll behind Bernie Sanders, who had garnered 31 per cent of support, with Joe Biden behind in third with 15 per cent.

Bloomberg, a former mayor of New York, will not compete in the first four nomination contests, and will enter the running on March 3 when 14 states will vote for their preferred candidate.

Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s campaign manager, said in a statement: "Mike is looking forward to joining the other Democratic candidates on stage and making the case for why he's the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump and unite the country."

Fellow candidate Amy Klobuchar was supportive of Bloomberg featuring in the debate, telling NBC that he "can’t hide behind the airwaves" and must "answer questions".

Bloomberg is likely to face scrutiny over some of the policies he implemented as mayor of New York, including his support for extending stop and search powers for police which saw black and Latino people disproportionately targeted.

He is also known to have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into his campaign, which fellow candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have criticised.

At a party dinner in Nevada over the weekend, Sanders said that “the American people are sick and tired of billionaires buying elections”.

Bloomberg has distanced himself from claims that he has spent extensive amounts of money on advertising his campaign and said that he has offered to invest in the Democratic presidential campaign even if he is not the candidate.

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Authored By

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
February 19th 2020, 7:00am

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