Jan 28, 2020

Klobuchar says Bloomberg should be on the debate stage

2020 Democratic contender Amy Klobuchar said Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that her rival Michael Bloomberg should be on the primary debate stage "instead of just putting [his] money out there."

The state of play: Billionaires Bloomberg and Tom Steyer have been criticized by their rivals for blanketing television airwaves — even beyond the early primary states — with huge ad buys. Unlike Steyer, however, Bloomberg's campaign has refused to accept donations, which prohibits him from reaching the debate stage under current DNC qualification rules.

What she's saying:

"I'd be fine with him being on the debate stage because I think that instead of just putting your money out there, he's actually got to be on the stage, and be able to go back and forth so that voters can evaluate him in that way. 
"Certainly being on the debate stage for me and making every single benchmark put in front of me has been helpful because then people get to know me. They can see that I'm tough enough to take on Donald Trump, and they can see how I respond with other people on a stage, and I think that would be really important."

The big picture: Seven candidates, including Klobuchar and Steyer, have qualified for the next debate on Feb. 7.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Yang says he's not sure if Bloomberg is "excited" about DNC debate change

Andrew Yang said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that he's not sure if fellow 2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg is "excited" to participate in the Democratic primary debates, following a rule change by the Democratic National Committee that will eliminate the individual-donor threshold.

What to watch in the Nevada debate

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Cengiz Yardages and Mario Tama/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg's wealth will fuel rather than shield him from tests and attacks when he makes his Democratic primary debate debut on the stage tonight in Las Vegas.

The state of play: Bernie Sanders is still the front-runner. So the other candidates must weigh which of the two presents a bigger threat to their viability: Sanders, with his combined delegate, polling and grassroots momentum? Or Bloomberg, with his bottomless budget?

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.