Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, a centrist billionaire who launched a White House bid after years of flirting with a run, and pledged to use his vast resources to unite Democrats and moderate Republicans against President Donald Trump has suspended his campaign and is endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden.
His campaign was shaken by Biden’s resurgence and overwhelming victory in the South Carolina primary, which reignited the former vice president’s bid and led other moderate candidates to drop out of the race end endorse him in an effort to consolidate the primary vote and prevent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders from clinching the party’s nomination. By Super Tuesday, it was clear that Bloomberg’s efforts to target the 15 contests in play in lieu of traditional campaigning methods of hitting the early voting states simply did not pay off in terms of netting the bulk of pledged delegates or the popular vote.
“Three months ago, I entered the race for President to defeat Donald Trump. Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump – because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult,” he wrote in a letter to supporters adding “I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden.”
Biden, who has acknowledged his lackluster ground game, told ABC News that changes were coming to his campaign in terms of staffing. On Wednesday, he tweeted his thanks to Bloomberg whose endorsement could possibly help strengthen the former vice president’s bid with a potential huge influx of cash and organization assistance.
“@MikeBloomberg, I can’t thank you enough for your support—and for your tireless work on everything from gun safety reform to climate change. This race is bigger than candidates and bigger than politics. It’s about defeating Donald Trump, and with your help, we’re gonna do it,” Biden tweeted.
Despite ruling out a White House run last spring, Bloomberg reversed course in the fall and entered the race just before Thanksgiving, offering himself as a pragmatic problem solver with unlimited resources who could appeal to the middle of the country alienated by Trump and leading progressives, at a moment when former vice president Joe Biden faced questions about the strength of his campaign.
Bloomberg’s campaign surged after Biden’s disastrous fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, impressing voters and Democratic officials with the size and scale of his operation despite skipping the first four early primary contests, and seizing on concerns that Sanders’ nomination could endanger down-ballot Democrats across the country this fall.
“Defeating Trump – and rebuilding America – is the most urgent and important fight of our lives. And I’m going all in,” Bloomberg said on his website at the time.
In the first 100 days of his campaign, Bloomberg spent more than half a billion dollars of his estimated $60 billion fortune on his campaign, flooding airwaves around the country with ads, opening hundreds of offices across the country, and hiring more than 2,100 people to his team, building an operation from scratch that resembled a general election operation more than a primary campaign.
You can read the rest of Sasha Pezenik and Benjamin Siegel’s article at ABCnews.com