NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Former mayor Michael Bloomberg may be one of the richest people in the world, but Friday he pushed back against charges he is trying to buy the Democratic presidential nomination.
It came during an interview with CBS This Morning‘s Gayle King, his first since entering the race.
The “b word” is the first line of attack – billionaire – dropping off the lips of many of Michael Bloomberg’s Democratic opponents in the 2020 presidential primary. Despite the fact that he is spending bushels of money to introduce himself to voters, the former mayor of New York insists he’s not trying to buy the nomination.
That’s what he told CBS This Morning‘s Gayle King.
Watch: Gayle King Interviews Michael Bloomberg, Part 1
“The point that they’re making, and a lot of people are making, is you’re a billionaire who’s buying this election. What’s your response to that?” King asked.
“I’m doing exactly the same thing they’re doing, except that I am using my own money. They’re using somebody else’s money’s and those other people expect something from them. Nobody give you money if they don’t expect something, and I don’t want to be bought,” Bloomberg responded.
In his first interview since deciding to run in the Democratic presidential primary, Bloomberg talked about a host of issues: His push for gun control, apologizing for stop and frisk, and why, after he initially decided not to run a few months ago, he changed his mind.
Watch: Gayle King Interviews Michael Bloomberg, Part 2
“I watched all the candidates. And I just thought to myself ‘Donald Trump would eat ’em up,'” Bloomberg said.
“You think all the candidates who are running today, he would eat them up?” King asked.
“Let me rephrase it. I think that I would do the best job of competing with him and beating him,” Bloomberg said.
Not surprisingly, Bloomberg’s interview touched a raw nerve with the present occupant of Gracie Mansion, Bill de Blasio. De Blasio had to fold his own presidential tent due to monumental lack of interest on the part of American voters.
“This has to be the party of working people, not billionaires,” de Blasio said.
Mayor Bill stepped up his attack on Mayor Mike by trying to convince primary voter’s that Bloomberg is not a real Democrat.
“He’s a billionaire who’s not a real Democrat,” de Blasio said. “For today’s America, today’s Democratic party, he does not fit at all.”
Although Mayor de Blasio’s attack was certainly strident, just Thursday de Blasio admitted if Michael Bloomberg is the nominee of the Democratic party, he would support him. He did not say he would work to help him, an opportunity Bloomberg would probably have no trouble passing up.