- Billionaire 2020 candidate Mike Bloomberg dropped out of the Democratic primary on Wednesday and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.
- The former New York City mayor spent over $500 million on his campaign, but he dropped out after getting trounced on Super Tuesday.
- “I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it,” Bloomberg said in a statement after dropping out. “After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
This story is breaking. Check back for updates.
Billionaire 2020 candidate Mike Bloomberg dropped out of the 2020 presidential race after a disastrous performance in a series of Democratic primaries. Shortly after, he released a statement through his campaign in which he officially endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.
The former New York City mayor’s decision to leave the race comes after Biden demolished him and other 2020 contenders on Super Tuesday a few days after a convincing win in South Carolina’s primary.
“I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it,” Bloomberg said in his statement. “After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden.”
“I’ve known Joe for a very long time,” he added. “I know his decency, his honesty, and his commitment to the issues that are so important to our country — including gun safety, health care, climate change, and good jobs.”
Bloomberg won in American Samoa, and nowhere else, despite spending enormous sums of money on his campaign.
The candidate officially entered the race on November 24, 2019, nearly 11 months after some of his competitors.
He entered at a time when Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign had hit a low point — the candidate went on to do poorly in the first three primary contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada before a later turnaround.
Bloomberg positioned himself as a centrist alternative to Biden and warned that nominating Sen. Bernie Sanders would spell disaster for Democrats. But he failed to gain traction in the crowded Democratic field and also weathered a string of public controversies about his behavior toward women and previous support for policies like stop-and-frisk.
Bloomberg skipped the first four contests of the race, opting to pour his resources into Super Tuesday’s 14 primaries and relying on strong support in North Carolina and Virginia to stay viable.
While Bloomberg managed to grow his national support with hundreds of millions of dollars in TV, radio, and digital ads, he failed to impress many voters or pundits on the debate stage.
Bloomberg was repeatedly torn apart by his opponents, most notably, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who attacked his record of implementing the discriminatory stop-and-frisk policing policy, his behavior towards former female employees, and his reliance on his personal wealth to run for office.
Warren received a boost in support after tearing into Bloomberg at the Democratic debate in Nevada in February, where she likened the New Yorker to the president.
“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against — a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians,” Warren said to applause. “And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Michael Bloomberg.”
Buying an election
Bloomberg, whose estimated worth is north of $60 billion, spent a over $500 million on his relatively short-lived presidential bid.
Bloomberg officially entered the 2020 primary on November 24 with just 5% support in national polling. But he managed to grow that number through an unprecedented advertising campaign. Bloomberg’s campaign even paid prominent meme accounts to post supportive messages on social media as a way to reach younger voters.
The former Wall Street executive managed to spend more on the first three months of his 2020 presidential campaign than former President Barack Obama did on the entirety of his 2012 reelection bid. By early March, he’d already spent more on TV ads than then-candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton did during the entirety of their 2016 campaigns.
The former mayor is accustomed to spending significant sums on philanthropy and politics. In 2019, he spent $2.8 billion on charitable donations, $1 billion of which went to his alma mater Johns Hopkins University. Bloomberg and his organizations spent more than $100 million on the 2018 midterm elections.
Read more of our best stories on Michael Bloomberg: