Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergWhat Democrats need to do to avoid self-destruction Democrats' combative approach to politics is doing more harm than good Battling over Biden's agenda: A tale of two Democratic parties MORE blasted his 2020 Democratic rivals for criticizing him for self-funding his campaign, saying they had a chance to "make a lot of money."
"The point they're making is it's OK if they ask other people for all of their money, and it will help their careers," Bloomberg told CBS News in an interview that aired on Friday.
Bloomberg said he instead prefers to give away his earned money to causes he cares about, like public health, education and the environment.
"I think I could do a lot of good for the country if I could become president, and so using some of [that] money to fund the campaign is fine," he said.
Bloomberg noted that he did not come from money and worked hard to be a successful businessman.
"I give a hundred percent of the money away. What's wrong with all of that?" he added. "Ask them what they're doing. Why didn't they do that? They had a chance to go out and make a lot of money, and how much of their own money do they put into their own campaigns?"
Progressive Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate Democrats propose corporate minimum tax for spending package The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Budget negotiators: 72 hours and counting Democrats face critical 72 hours MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight On The Money — Senate Democrats lay out their tax plans Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — FDA advisers endorse Pfizer vaccine for kids Manchin: 'I think we'll get a framework' deal MORE (I-Vt.) have slammed Bloomberg's entrance into the 2020 race, painting him as out of touch with the working class.
"We do not believe that billionaires have the right to buy elections, and that is why we are going to overturn Citizens United, that is why multibillionaires like Mr. Bloomberg are not going to get very far in this election, that is why we are going to end voter suppression in America," Sanders said last month at a campaign event.
Warren pointed to fellow Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisRNC targets McAuliffe, Biden campaign event with mobile billboard Obama looks to give new momentum to McAuliffe Kamala Harris engages with heckler during New York speech MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandPaid family leave proposal at risk Which proposals will survive in the Democrats' spending plan? Proposals to reform supports for parents face chopping block MORE (D-N.Y.) dropping out of the Democratic primary, arguing that they were forced to end their campaigns while Bloomberg and fellow billionaire Tom SteyerTom SteyerYouth voting organization launches M registration effort in key battlegrounds Overnight Energy: 'Eye of fire,' Exxon lobbyist's comments fuel renewed attacks on oil industry | Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline | More than 75 companies ask Congress to pass clean electricity standard Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline MORE were able to buy their way into the race.
While Bloomberg is ignoring the early contest states of Iowa and New Hampshire, he is laser-focused on the later Super Tuesday states.
He launched a multimillion-dollar ad buy across a number of states and media markets last month.
The strategy, mixed with Bloomberg's high name recognition, appears to be having an impact in the polls.
A Quinnipiac University poll released last month showed Bloomberg with the support of 3 percent of Democratic and left-leaning independent voters, higher than entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangBill Maher pushes back on criticism of Chappelle: 'What the f--- was that reaction?' Progressive economic theories run into some inconvenient truths Andrew Yang weighs in on Dave Chappelle: Artists should get 'wide berth' for self-expression MORE and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, as well as Sens. Cory BookerCory BookerBlack Caucus pushes for priorities in final deal Cory Booker to campaign for McAuliffe in Virginia Senate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetBuilding back better by investing in workers and communities Biden signs bill to help victims of 'Havana syndrome' Colorado remap plan creates new competitive district MORE (D-Colo.).