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Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg. Photos: Drew Angerer; Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into 2020 rival Michael Bloomberg at a Las Vegas campaign event Saturday, saying the billionaire and former New York mayor is trying to "buy the presidency" by paying millions of dollars in advertising.

Why it matters: Bloomberg has surged in national polling recently, having poured millions of dollars into campaign ads largely targeting Trump. His candidacy has become an obvious foil for Sanders, whose grassroots campaign railing against billionaires and the establishment has vaulted him to front-runner status.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What he's saying: At the event, Sanders also said, "We will not create the energy and excitement we need to defeat Trump if that candidate pursued, advocated for, and enacted, racist policies like stop-and-frisk, which caused communities of color in his city to live in fear. We will not defeat Donald Trump with a candidate who in 2015 stated, and I quote: ‘I, for example, am not in favor, have never been in favor of raising the minimum wage.’

We will not defeat Donald Trump with a candidate who opposed modest proposals during Barack Obama’s presidency to raise taxes on the wealthy, while advocating for cuts to Medicare and Social Security. We will not defeat Donald Trump with a candidate who, instead of holding the crooks on Wall Street accountable, blamed the end of the racist policies such as red-lining for the financial crisis. Mayor Bloomberg with all his money, will not create the kind of excitement and energy we need to have the voter turnout we must have to defeat Donald Trump."
— Bernie Sanders, per the WashPost's Dave Weigel

The big picture: Bloomberg is not on the ballot in Nevada, which will host its caucuses next Saturday. He does, however, have a chance to qualify for the Las Vegas debate on Feb. 19, which would mark the first time he and his 2020 competitors would face off in person.

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details from Sanders' speech.

Go deeper

Surprising pandemic side effect: Soaring trade deficits

Source: Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

Inflation and jobs may get all the economic headlines, but meanwhile a big shift is taking place in the underpinnings of the world economy: The U.S. trade deficit is soaring.

What's happening: Americans' spending on imported physical goods has gone through the roof, while exports are growing slowly, making the U.S. the world's consumer of last resort.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Third Way: "Big Lie" could become "Big Coup"

Graphic: Third Way

Third Way, the center-left think tank, is urging fellow Democrats to respond to the Capitol riot with "the size, scope, and seriousness of a presidential campaign," co-founder Matt Bennett tells me.

Driving the news: "For the first time in U.S. history, a party must mount two parallel presidential campaigns: one to win the election, and the other to prevent its theft," Bennett said, calling this "a Paul Revere moment."

Advocates say Biden has let Haitian migrants down

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Christian Torres/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Continued turmoil in Haiti is causing a growing number of Haitians to try to make it to American shores — and some advocates say the Biden administration isn't supporting this community in its time of crisis.

The big picture: Haitian-American activists in South Florida told Axios Today they feel like President Biden has gone back on campaign promises he made to the community to stand up for them.

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