Bloomberg is the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump

The Democratic National Committee recently announced new qualification criteria for the Feb.19 debate in Nevada, raising the polling requirement and eliminating the donor threshold. This makes sense. As voters start going to the polls, America should hear from candidates who are resonating most with the public as a whole.

The DNC has consistently tightened its qualification criteria on Feb. 14, 2019May 29, 2019Oct. 8, 2019Oct. 25, 2019, and Dec. 20, 2019. That’s five different sets of rules over the first eight debates. The media widely reported on every time the DNC changed the rules.

And, when the DNC originally announced its debate format more than a year ago, it clearly explained the rules would change as we move closer to voting.

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Last month, some Democratic presidential candidates and their surrogates criticized former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergBiden will go after Bloomberg, Sanders at Las Vegas debate, aides say Sanders takes lead in new Hill/HarrisX poll Bloomberg campaign warns of 'insurmountable' Sanders lead if moderates split votes MORE for not participating in the debates. One of Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden leads Sanders by single digits in South Carolina: poll 2020 Democratic candidates support Las Vegas casino workers on debate day Sanders takes lead in new Hill/HarrisX poll MORE’s (D-Mass.) surrogates even asked the DNC to change the rules so that Bloomberg would be included. But Bloomberg refused to abandon his principle of self-funding to meet the DNC’s debate criteria requiring he has a certain number of donors.

Like he’s always done, Bloomberg is self-funding his campaign. He’s not taking a dollar from anyone. He knows he’s been fortunate in life and doesn’t think it’s right to ask other people to give money to someone who doesn’t need it. 

And, by not accepting donations, Bloomberg is not beholden to any special interests. As New York City’s mayor for 12 years, he acted independently and made every decision with the best interests of all New Yorkers in mind. 

As president, Bloomberg will do the same thing. Unlike our current president, Bloomberg will put the interests of the American people first.

After the DNC announced its latest criteria, other candidates are now complaining that Bloomberg might be in the next debate. They are claiming he’s responsible for the rule change. That’s not true.

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The DNC sets its own rules. Bloomberg has said from the beginning of his campaign that he will adhere to the DNC’s rules like everyone else. He may qualify for the next debate because he’s been rising in national polls, but he hasn’t qualified yet.

I’m excited millions of voters may soon have the chance to see Bloomberg on the debate stage and learn more about his unparalleled record in government and business and his vision for our country. And I know Bloomberg looks forward to debating.

He has never shied away from talking directly with voters and showing how his leadership experience, achievements, and plans stack up against other candidates. Bloomberg has won every election he’s contested — and he’s debated in each one.

Debates serve an important purpose, but they are only one way to reach the American people. In just over two months since declaring his candidacy, Bloomberg has visited 58 cities in 25 states. He is introducing himself to voters in communities that rarely, if ever, are visited by a presidential candidate.

And he is running the strongest campaign with support from a broad coalition of Americans that will only keep growing once voting starts. Bloomberg has 2,000 campaign staffers in 43 states, including all Super Tuesday states. 

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He has received 120 endorsements, including more than 60 mayors, 11 congressional representatives, and two state-wide elected officials. In just the past week, Bloomberg received more than 39 new endorsements, including one governor, six members of Congress, 32 mayors, and Trump’s own former Navy Secretary, Richard V. Spencer.

Voters across the country are quickly figuring out what I already know — Bloomberg is the best candidate to defeat Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE, unite our country, and rebuild America.

Michael Nutter is the former mayor of Philadelphia and national political co-chair for Bloomberg Bloomberg 2020.