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Billionaire Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg has abandoned his campaign after failing to win any of the 14 Super Tuesday primary states despite spending over $500 million. He has endorsed Joe Biden.
The former New York mayor announced he was suspending his campaign via a press release on Wednesday after the veritable tidal wave of cash he poured into the race netted just 12 delegates (plus a win in the US territory of American Samoa).
Following the lead of the other centrist favorites who have dropped out in the past month, Bloomberg was quick to throw his support behind “my friend and a great American, Joe Biden.”
Bloomberg’s campaign lasted just three months, as a tweet from his personal account reminded onlookers, during which he managed to flood the race with more than half a billion dollars, dwarfing the spending of all his Democratic rivals combined – even those who had been campaigning for months before he entered the race. Ultimately, however, a plutocrat with $61 billion in the bank had a hard time connecting with American voters.
Bloomberg’s statement suggested he has a more hands-on role in mind for the 2020 race than mere passive donation, hinting “I will not walk away from the most important political fight of my life,” though it’s not clear how – aside from “uniting behind” Biden – he plans to remain involved.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, fresh off her own disappointing Super Tuesday showing, is said to be “talking to her team to assess the path forward,” according to Reuters, which cited a campaign aide. Unable to even take second place in her home state, she seems to lack a realistic path to the nomination, and her persistence in the race is increasingly viewed by critics as a hostile measure against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Bloomberg sat out the first four primaries in order to focus his energies on Super Tuesday, hoping to sweep the southern states after blanketing voters with an advertising blitz that positioned the billionaire as a responsible, experienced choice. However, his controversial tenure as New York mayor, marked by racially-biased policing and rampant gentrification, dominated the conversation instead, with a track record of institutionalized sexism at his company sealing his fate.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter to gloat, ribbing “Mini Mike” with an “I told you so” and predicting the plutocrat would “pour money into Sleepy Joe’s campaign, hoping to save face.” Trump has mercilessly mocked the candidate for everything from his short stature to the seemingly endless stream of recordings of racist and sexist statements spilling out on social media.
Bloomberg hit back with a Star Wars meme, signaling that merely abandoning his campaign does not mean he will abandon what has been a truly bizarre effort to connect with young and internet-savvy voters.