Bloomberg touts appeal to moderate Republicans

Bloomberg touts appeal to moderate Republicans
© Getty Images

Former New York City mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergPoll: 68 percent of Democrats say it 'makes no difference' if a candidate is a billionaire Chicago mayor weighing possible Bloomberg endorsement Judge Judy's verdict: Ignoring Bloomberg's record to endorse others made no sense MORE in a new interview presented himself as the best-positioned 2020 Democratic candidate to appeal to moderate Republicans and defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE.

“One of the reasons I’m reasonably confident I could beat Trump is I would be acceptable to the moderate Republicans you have to have,”  Bloomberg, who first ran for mayor as a Republican before switching to an independent over the course of his 12 years in office, told Reuters on Saturday.

“Whether you like it or not, you can’t win the election unless you get moderate Republicans to cross the line. The others are much too liberal for them and they would certainly vote for Donald Trump,” he added, according to the news service.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bloomberg, a late entrant into the race, made the remarks in San Antonio, Texas as part of a bus tour through states that will vote on Super Tuesday, where he hopes to compete after sitting out the first round of primaries and caucuses.

The former mayor has spent $37 million on advertising, prompting accusations by competitors to his left, such as Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKlobuchar plans campaign rallies across Iowa despite impeachment trial Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Wyden asks NSA to investigate White House cybersecurity | Commerce withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon objects | Warren calls on Brazil to drop Greenwald charges Warren pledges to release Trump records if elected MORE (D-Mass.), of attempting to buy the election.

“These are just political things they say, hoping they catch on and they don’t like me doing it, because it competes with them, not because it’s bad policy,” Bloomberg told Reuters in response to the criticisms.

“Number one priority is to get rid of Donald Trump. I’m spending all my money to get rid of Trump,” he said. “Do you want me to spend more or less? End of story.”