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.