Nov 8, 2019

Exclusive: Mike Bloomberg will "spend whatever it takes" in 2020

Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Bloomberg Philanthropies

Mike Bloomberg is jumping into the Democratic presidential race because he believes that Joe Biden is fading, opening the moderate lane next to Elizabeth Warren, sources close to the former New York mayor tell Axios.

Why it matters: "Mike will spend whatever it takes to defeat Donald Trump," a Bloomberg source said. "The nation is about to see a very different campaign than we’ve ever seen before."

  • I'm told there's no way he'll later run as a third-party or independent candidate, partly because of ballot-access hurdles.

Theory of the case: Bloomberg, who according to Forbes is worth $52 billion, will self-fund, allowing him to run an essentially national campaign at a time when the rest of the field is raising money and focusing on early states.

  • Bloomberg, who will make a final decision "soon," isn't expected to seek or accept campaign contributions, according to a second source.
  • Bloomberg had been focused on how he could best influence 2020 from the outside. But he increasingly became concerned that all the leading Democrats have weaknesses Trump could exploit in the general election.
  • Bloomberg sees himself as an anti-Trump: practical and pragmatic, a self-made business leader, committed to issues such as climate and guns, and someone who recognizes the value of multilateralism and coalitions over isolationism.

What's next: The Bloomberg buzz ignited yesterday with the news that he'll file today to qualify for the primary in Alabama, which has an early filing deadline.

  • I'm told he'll quickly ramp up in other states with deadlines approaching, including Arkansas, New Hampshire, Florida, California and Texas.

Reality check: Given the progressive tides in the Democratic Party, there's no sign that a 77-year-old billionaire is what primary voters are pining for.

  • Biden is sucking wind on money, and now Bloomberg is moving into his lane with unlimited cash.

Go deeper: Michael Bloomberg is giving his friends a copy of his new biography

Go deeper

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U.S. enters 6th day of nationwide protests over George Floyd's killing

A protest in Philadelphia on May 31. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The D.C. National Guard is being called to assist police with protests, per AP, as protests continue past the city's 11 p.m. curfew.

What's happening: Police fired tear gas into a crowd of over 1,000 people in Washington, D.C.'s Lafayette Square across from the White House one hour before Sunday's 11 p.m. curfew, AP reports. Earlier in the night, protestors held a stand off in Lafayette Square, after previously breaking through a White House police barricade. A fire in the basement of the city's historic St. Johns Church was extinguished.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Journalists get caught in the crosshairs as protests unfold

A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo outside the CNN Center during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd, Atlanta, Georgia, May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protesters.

Driving the news: The violence got so bad over the weekend that on Sunday the Cleveland police said the media was not allowed downtown unless "they are inside their place of business" — drawing ire from news outlets around the country, who argued that such access is a critical part of adequately covering protests.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Tanker truck plows into Minneapolis protesters

The tanker after plowing into protesters on the shut-down bridge in Minneapolis on Sunday evening. Authorities said it appeared protesters escaped injury. Photo: Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Minnesota authorities said in a statement they're investigating as a criminal matter what happened with a truck that "drove into demonstrators" on a Minneapolis bridge Sunday evening while the eight-lane road was closed for a protest.

What they're saying: Minnesota Department of Public Safety tweeted, "Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn't appear any protesters were hit by the truck."