Sanders: Bloomberg entry into race would prove my point on U.S. politics

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders said it would be “interesting” if former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg entered the presidential race.

“I think it would be very interesting if Donald Trump became the Republican candidate who is a multi-billionaire, and Michael Bloomberg became an independent candidate who is a multi-billionaire,” Sanders, I-Vt., said Sunday in an interview on “ABC News This Week.”

The New York Times on Saturday anonymously quoted aides and associates of Bloomberg, 73, a media magnate and three-term mayor, as saying he saw an opening in case Trump and Sanders won the Republican and Democratic nominations, respectively.

Bloomberg’s entrance into the race, Sanders told anchor Martha Raddatz, “will tell people what I have been saying for a long time is that this country is moving away from democracy to oligarchy that billionaires are the people who are controlling our political life.”

American democracy, Sanders said, is not supposed to be about a contest between billionaires.

“If that takes place, I am confident that we will win it,” he said.

Also Sunday, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he would welcome Bloomberg’s candidacy.

“I would love to have Michael get into the race. I would personally like to compete with Michael Bloomberg,” Trump told CBS’ “Face the Nation” in a phone interview Sunday morning.

Bloomberg said he would be willing to spend $1 billion of his own money on a presidential run. He made his fortune, now valued at approximately $40 billion, from the media and financial data company he founded, Bloomberg L.P.

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