Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) had no idea his billionaire rival Mike Bloomberg (D) dropped out of the presidential race on Wednesday morning, telling reporters during a press conference in Burlington, Vermont, Wednesday afternoon that it was the first he had heard about it.
“I wanted to ask you about Michael Bloomberg stepping out and dropping out of the race,” a reporter asked a surprised Sanders.
“Has he stepped out, dropped [out]?” Sanders asked.
“He’s dropped out, supporting Joe Biden,” the reporter continued, asking for Sanders’ thoughts on what Bloomberg brought to the race.
“Well [it’s the] first I’ve heard about it,” Sanders said. “He certainly brought a lot of money into this race. He certainly made a lot of television networks very, very wealthy, and I’m sure they’re disappointed that he’s leaving.”
“Look I have no animus toward Mayor Bloomberg. I surely strongly disagree with many of his policies as mayor of the City of New York, including stop and frisk and many other policies,” he continued:
“Has he stepped out? … that’s the first I heard about that” — Bernie Sanders just learned that Bloomberg dropped out during his news conference pic.twitter.com/oPJyezbsjd
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 4, 2020
Sanders said Bloomberg’s departure and endorsement of Biden “confirms” the suspicion of the establishment trying to stop his movement.
“What you do is you get candidates out of the race to rally around Joe Biden,” Sanders said.
“But obviously as the ninth wealthiest person in this country — he’s worth some $60 billion — I suspect we will see, you know, a lot of money coming into Biden’s campaign,” he said. “Probably a lot of negative ads attacking me. That’s what we’re taking on.”
Bloomberg dropped out of the race on Wednesday morning after his $600 million effort failed to materialize on Super Tuesday. He immediately endorsed his “friend and a great American, Joe Biden,” citing the former vice president’s commitment to issues like “gun safety, health care, climate change, and good jobs.”
The two, Sanders and Bloomberg, had a bitter back and forth throughout the former mayor’s short-lived presidential bid. Sanders repeatedly slammed Bloomberg for attempting to “buy” the election, and Bloomberg accused the socialist senator of supporting communist policies.
Watch Sanders’ full presser below: