Mar 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bloomberg: "I don't think I can win" without a contested convention

Mike Bloomberg on Super Tuesday at El Pub Restaurant restaurant in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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.

Go deeper: Bloomberg hangs on as moderate Democrats unite behind Biden

Go deeper

Bloomberg hangs on as moderate Democrats unite behind Biden

Mike Bloomberg greets supporters during a stop at one of his campaign offices in Manassas, Virginia. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg wants everyone to know he has no intention of getting elbowed out of the presidential race, even as fellow moderates are dropping out and endorsing Joe Biden.

The big picture: I spent yesterday with Bloomberg as he geared up for Super Tuesday — the first time his name is on the ballot.

Bloomberg suspends presidential campaign, endorses Biden

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg, who spent hundreds of millions of dollars to self-fund his 2020 presidential run, announced Wednesday that he is suspending his campaign after a poor performance on Super Tuesday and will endorse Joe Biden.

What he's saying: "I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden," Bloomberg said in a statement.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bloomberg's historic bust

Mike Bloomberg waves to supporters in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Super Tuesday. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Never in American history has a presidential candidate spent more to get less than Mike Bloomberg, making his buy-a-nomination bid a big bust. 

Why it matters: Bloomberg spent $600 million to win as many states as every American who chose not to run: zero. (He has American Samoa to show for it.)