Feb 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden says Bloomberg's money can't "erase" his record

Joe Biden

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Michael Bloomberg's vast fortune cannot "erase" his record, and that scrutiny of Bloomberg's positions on things like race and policing will ramp up now that he's in the national spotlight.

Why it matters: Biden's polling free fall in the wake of poor performances in Iowa and New Hampshire has coincided with a surge for Bloomberg, who appeals to a similar moderate bloc of the Democratic Party. The billionaire's limitless spending capacity poses an especially stark threat to Biden, who has struggled with fundraising.

  • Bloomberg is eating up Biden's leads in key Super Tuesday states, according to recent polling, most notably with black voters — a demographic whose long-standing support had given Biden a competitive advantage over all of his competitors.
  • But Bloomberg has yet to participate in a Democratic debate. A spot on the Nevada debate stage on Feb. 19 would subject him to scrutiny from other candidates, which he is also increasingly facing from the media.
  • On Saturday, front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders said Bloomberg cannot "create the energy and excitement" needed to defeat Trump, while also targeting the former mayor's record supporting "racist policies like stop-and-frisk."

The exchange:

CHUCK TODD: Are you concerned that $300 million has gotten Michael Bloomberg half your support among African Americans?
BIDEN: $60 billion can buy you a lot of advertising, but it can't erase your record. There's a lot to talk about with Michael Bloomberg. You all are going to start focusing on him like you have on me. ... You're going to focus on him. ... From stop-and-frisk to the way he talked about Obama."

Go deeper: Bloomberg's monopoly, Biden's market crash

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