Gingrich: Bloomberg bought mayorship

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich knocked Michael Bloomberg in Iowa Wednesday, claiming Bloomberg bought his way into the mayor's office of New York City. 

"We don’t come out of a background where we can buy a seat or buy, as Mayor Bloomberg did, buy the mayorship of New York. I mean if you look at how much he spent, he just wrote a check and bought it," Gingrich said Wednesday night in Mason City, Iowa, according to CBS's New York affiliate.

According to The New York Times, Bloomberg, an Independent, spent $102 million of his personal fortune when he ran for a third term in 2009. 

The former House Speaker was making the case that he did not come from a privileged upbringing, unlike other candidates in the field.

"I think that’s very dangerous to the future of American democracy. My dad served in the Army for 27 years; I was a college teacher. I’m a middle-class person," Gingrich said, according to CBS.

New York's media reported that Bloomberg "played dumb" in response.

"What, did he say something?," Bloomberg said at a press conference on Thursday according to PolitickerNY.

Gingrich's campaign reported raising $9.2 million in the fourth quarter this week, a significant amount that allows him to stay in the race regardless of whether he performs well in the Iowa caucuses next week. The fundraising haul is a dramatic improvement from the last quarter, when Gingrich only raised $800,000. 

—This story was updated at 2:29 p.m.

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