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Sanders hits Bloomberg for trying 'to buy the presidency'

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay MORE (I-Vt.) on Sunday went after his Democratic primary rival Michael BloombergMichael BloombergPress: Even Jeff Bezos should pay income taxes What the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship 5 former Treasury secretaries back Biden's plan to increase tax enforcement on wealthy 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 TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care 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.