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Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Former Vice President Joe Biden told "Axios on HBO" he is skeptical former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will get traction with Democratic voters. 

Why it matters: Aides tell us Biden was hacked off that Bloomberg jumped into the race after promising he would not. Bloomberg has made it clear via advisers that Biden’s weakness prompted his entrance.

Biden told "Axios on HBO": “I think [voters] are going to look and make a judgment. What is he bringing in? What's he adding to the race?"

  • Biden added that he is a "skeptic" of Bloomberg's candidacy and believes voters share that opinion.

Between the lines: Biden declined to endorse Sen. Elizabeth Warren's accusation that Bloomberg is trying to buy the election.

  • "I agree that he has decided he is better off spending his own money — which is unlimited amounts of money — than going out and trying to raise any money. ... I think it's something that the American people have to take a hard look at and make a judgment whether there is any real risk."

The big picture: Bloomberg has surged to fifth in the RealClearPolitics polling average for 2020 Democrats, but he still trails Biden by nearly 24 percentage points.

  • Biden has held a commanding lead for all but a few weeks of the cycle, and the only other person to hold a lead is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has since faded back into the third slot.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2021 economy boomed at fastest rate in 37 years

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

The U.S. economy surged ahead with a 6.9% annual growth rate in the final months of 2021 and achieved the strongest growth over an entire calendar year since 1984.

Driving the news: New GDP numbers from the Commerce Department show a remarkable acceleration in economic activity, much faster than the 5.3% growth rate analysts expected.

The Fed isn't the only problem investors are worried about

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Federal Reserve will be raising rates, just as the economy is slowing. The markets hate that.

Why it matters: The ugly start to the stock trading year doesn't just reflect Fed-induced agita — investors are also worried about a growth slowdown.

4 hours ago - Health

White House says Obamacare sign-ups hit record

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra speaking in the White House in December 2021. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The White House said Thursday that a record 14.5 million Americans have signed up for health insurance through Obamacare marketplaces since Nov. 1, including more than 10 million enrollments through HealthCare.gov.

Why it matters: Last year's stimulus bill contained substantial investments in the program, including increased subsidies for people who don't receive health insurance from an employer or through Medicare or Medicaid.