Bloomberg: "I don't think I can win" without a contested convention
MIAMI, Fla. — Mike Bloomberg told reporters Tuesday that he has "no intention of dropping out" of the presidential race despite calls for Democratic moderates to coalesce around Joe Biden, adding that his path to the nomination depends on a contested convention.
Why it matters: Today's Super Tuesday contests are the first with Bloomberg's name on the ballot — marking the first measure of whether he has a real shot at the Democratic nomination.
What he's saying: Asked by reporters at a campaign field office in Little Havana whether he wants a contested convention in July, Bloomberg said, "I don’t think that I can win any other way. But a contested convention is a democratic process. There are rules in the Democratic Party of how you go about this. And, I did see, Bernie Sanders said all of a sudden he didn’t want to follow the rules."
- Bloomberg said he finds it "offensive" that in the past Sanders "was in favor of that kind of a convention — and now he's opposed to it.”
The state of play: Bloomberg also grew visibly frustrated as reporters pressed him on whether he will drop out to unite with fellow moderates behind Biden: “Joe’s taking votes away from me!" he said. "It goes in both directions. Have you asked Joe if he’s going to drop out?"
- He also slammed Sanders over his complimentary comments toward the Cuban regime over the years.
- "We will not win Florida with a candidate who sings the praises of Fidel Castro and downplays the injustices committed in Cuba," Bloomberg said. He predicted Sanders' comments "will be toxic for Democrats up and down the ballot here in November."
Worth noting: Bloomberg is spending Super Tuesday in Florida, which doesn't vote until March 17.
- Later this week, he plans to hit the swing states of Michigan (which votes March 10) and Pennsylvania (which votes April 28) before heading back to Florida, which is a sign of how vital he views the state to be.