Bloomberg says he won't change donor policy to make debate stage

Bloomberg says he won't change donor policy to make debate stage
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate Michael BloombergMichael BloombergWithout drastic changes, Democrats are on track to lose big in 2022 Bidens, former presidents mark 9/11 anniversary The tragedy of 9/11 — an inflection point in American history MORE said he is willing to participate in the Democratic presidential debates, but he added that he will not change his policy on self-funding his campaign in order to meet the party's requirements. 

“I want to participate in the debates, I always said I'd like to participate in the debates. But the rules are the rules, and it's up to the Democratic Party to set those rules,” Bloomberg told reporters after a speech in D.C. 

“And if they change them so I could get into the debates I’d be happy,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

The billionaire and former New York City mayor entered the race after the majority of his opponents had already faced off in several debates. He likely will appear in no debates ahead of the Super Tuesday states, the first nominating contests Bloomberg is participating in. 

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has set a series of requirements that increase in difficulty for candidates to reach in order to make the stage. The next debate will be held on Feb. 7 in New Hampshire, shortly before the state’s first-in-the-nation primary and after the Iowa caucuses. 

As Bloomberg rises in the polls, some progressive critics have expressed that the candidate is not facing the same level of scrutiny as his opponents by avoiding the debate stage. Even if Bloomberg reaches the necessary polling requirements, he will likely not make the stage due to the donor threshold. 

The candidates must garner donations from 225,000 individual donors. 

However, Bloomberg said he will not budge on his decision not to accept a dime from supporters.

ADVERTISEMENT

“With my wealth it’s obscene to ask somebody else to support my campaign,” Bloomberg said.

“But more importantly I want to make sure everybody understands that a Bloomberg administration is the model of integrity,” he added. “It was for 12 years when I was the mayor. I didn’t take any money ... from anybody, not even a dollar, and I’m not going to do it this time, not even a dollar.”

Bloomberg could make the New Hampshire debate stage if he wins at least one delegate in Iowa, but it isn’t likely. The former mayor decided to skip campaigning in the first four states, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, instead focusing his efforts on the Super Tuesday states voting on March 3. 

The DNC has continued to defend its debate requirements despite requests from several candidates and former candidates who have argued against the party’s decisions. 

A spokesperson for the DNC was not immediately available for comment. 

Seven candidates have qualified for the February debate: Andrew YangAndrew YangAndrew Yang planning to launch third party: report Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Kings launch voting rights effort honoring John Lewis MORE, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Democrats urge Biden to commute sentences of 4K people on home confinement Briahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFederal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (D-Mass.), former South Bend, Ind, Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Blumenthal calls on Buttigieg to investigate American Airlines-JetBlue partnership LGBT film festival to premiere documentary about Pete Buttigieg MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHarris, CBC put weight behind activist-led National Black Voter Day Seven takeaways from California's recall election Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate MORE (D-Minn.) and billionaire philanthropist Tom SteyerTom SteyerOvernight 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 Six things to watch as California heads for recall election MORE