Jan 10, 2020

Bloomberg will pay staff to support whoever becomes Democratic nominee

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg will pay for the nearly 500 staffers on his presidential campaign to continue working through November to support whoever wins the 2020 Democratic nomination, even if it's not him, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The former New York mayor is focused on getting President Trump out of the White House, and his vast operation — focused beyond the traditional early states — could provide a strong foundation in key battleground states, like North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

  • The billionaire has also established a large tech operation, which will help the future nominee compete with Trump's digital prowess.
  • Bloomberg has pledged to spend $15 million on efforts to drive voter turnout, and his staffers could help that push effort in key states.

What they're saying: "Mike Bloomberg is either going to be the nominee or the most important person supporting the Democratic nominee for president," Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s campaign manager, told NBC.

The catch: Bloomberg's staff won't directly work for the Democratic nominee's campaign since the cost of operations would exceed federal contribution limits on his behalf.

  • The group would instead operate as an independent group privately funded by Bloomberg.

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Mike Bloomberg copies Trump to beat Trump

Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

To beat President Trump, Mike Bloomberg wants to be candidate Trump.

The state of play: Axios visited Bloomberg's new campaign HQ in Times Square yesterday, and we were struck by how much his 1,000+-person team is learning from — while trying to surpass — the Trump campaigns of 2016 and 2020.

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Bloomberg to double TV ad spending amid Iowa uncertainty

Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg on Tuesday authorized his 2020 presidential campaign to capitalize on the uncertainty of the Iowa caucuses result by doubling television advertising spending and expanding staff in the field to 2,000 people, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Bloomberg is skipping the four early contests in February and hoping to make a national splash on Super Tuesday on March 3. By positioning himself as a moderate best suited to defeat Trump, the billionaire and former New York mayor would stand to benefit from no clear front-runner emerging from the early contests.

Trump-Bloomberg feuding reaches new levels

Mike Bloomberg addresses local leaders in Oakland, California, as part of his focus on states with large numbers of delegates, Jan. 17. Photo: Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group.

Maybe it was the eye-popping FEC data about Mike Bloomberg's Q4 spending. Or a rivalry over their Super Bowl ads. Or a change to Democrats' rules that may soon allow Bloomberg to participate in the primary debates.

In any case, President Trump raged overnight on Twitter, primarily going after the height of the 5-foot-8 billionaire who's running as a Democrat. And Bloomberg's campaign shot back, hitting Trump for his weight and hue.