Former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg qualified for Wednesday’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday, setting the stage for a clash that will test the staying power of a campaign that has so far been defined by its astronomical advertising spending.
Many leading contenders in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination have made clear that they hope to turn the debate into a showdown over Bloomberg’s record on race, his enormous spending on the contest and the history of confidentiality agreements he has struck with women who accused him of making inappropriate comments in the workplace.
Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey confirmed in a statement Tuesday morning that Bloomberg would attend the debate.
“Mike is looking forward to joining the other Democratic candidates onstage and making the case for why he’s the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump and unite the country,” Sheekey said. “The opportunity to discuss his workable and achievable plans for the challenges facing this country is an important part of the campaign process.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has called Bloomberg’s spending on his campaign “precisely what the corruption of the American political system is all about,” and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has demanded that he release women who worked for him from legal settlement agreements.
Bloomberg’s campaign has spent more than $330 million so far in this campaign cycle.
“I’m going to get a chance to debate him on everything from redlining to stop-and-frisk to a whole range of other things,” former vice president Joe Biden said on ABC’s “The View” last week, referring to various Bloomberg controversies.
Bloomberg is the first candidate to make the Democratic debate stage this cycle without meeting any fundraising goals, following a change last month by Democratic National…
— Alexandra Halaby (@iskandrah) February 18, 2020
Former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg has qualified for Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas https://t.co/pOCvjxnZSH
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 18, 2020