Michael Bloomberg Is Open to Spending $1 Billion to Defeat Trump
SAN MARCOS, Texas — Michael R. Bloomberg on Saturday did not rule out spending a billion dollars of his own money on the 2020 presidential race, even if he does not win the Democratic nomination, and said he would mobilize his well-financed political operation to help Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren win in November if either is the party nominee, despite their sharp policy differences.
Mr. Bloomberg’s plans would effectively create a shadow campaign operation for the general election, complete with hundreds of organizers in key battleground states and a robust digital operation, ready to be inherited by the party nominee — regardless of who that nominee may be.
Already, Mr. Bloomberg has spent more than $200 million on advertising, putting him on pace to spend by early March about the same as what President Barack Obama’s campaign spent on advertising over the course of the entire 2012 general election. If Mr. Bloomberg fails to win the nomination, future spending would be redirected toward attacking Mr. Trump.
“It depends whether the candidate needs help; if they’re doing very well, they need less. If they’re not, they’ll need more,” he said in an interview after a lunch stop at a barbecue restaurant during a campaign swing through Texas.
While he did not rule out dropping a billion dollars on his effort, the former mayor of New York City blanched slightly at the size of the number, before mentioning the $2.8 billion he spent on charitable contributions last year, with the bulk going to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University.
“You know how much money a billion dollars is?” said Mr. Bloomberg. “It’s a lot of money to me. It’s a lot of money to anybody.”
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