Sanders hits Bloomberg for trying 'to buy the presidency'

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Judge slams Wisconsin governor, lawmakers for not delaying election amid coronavirus outbreak The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden offers to talk coronavirus response with Trump MORE (I-Vt.) on Sunday went after his Democratic primary rival Michael BloombergMichael BloombergFormer Bloomberg staffer seeks class-action lawsuit over layoffs Bloomberg spent over 0M on presidential campaign The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response MORE, accusing the former New York City mayor of trying to "buy the presidency" with millions of dollars' worth of TV ads.

During a campaign appearance in Nevada, Sanders pointed out Bloomberg's absence from the early primary states while knocking the billionaire former mayor for spending more than any other candidate in the 2020 race on TV advertising.

"Hey guys, how do you buy the presidency? Well, you buy the presidency, at least he's going to try to buy the presidency, by spending hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars on TV ads," Sanders said. "I didn't see Mike in Iowa ... I didn't see Mike in New Hampshire. ... Hey, you know what? I didn't see him here in Nevada!"

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"Well, I got news for Mr. Bloomberg, and that is the American people are sick and tired of billionaires buying elections," he added to applause.

Sanders's remarks come as Bloomberg has eclipsed the entirety of the 2020 field in TV ad spending and according to a CNBC analysis has spent more than twice what President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Esper: Military personnel could help treat coronavirus patients 'if push comes to shove' Schumer calls for military official to act as medical equipment czar MORE and every one of his Democratic rivals combined have spent so far this election cycle.

The Vermont senator has consistently hammered Bloomberg since the former mayor officially entered the 2020 race, accusing him of promoting "racist" policing policies as mayor of New York and asserting that Bloomberg could not generate the excitement necessary to defeat Trump in a general election.