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Rule change lets Bloomberg join Democratic debates

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 1, 2020 - Duration: 01:28s

Rule change lets Bloomberg join Democratic debates

The Democratic Party on Friday announced new rules around how presidential hopefuls can qualify to take part in debates, changes likely to allow billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg to join the stage in February.

Lisa Bernhard has more.

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Rule change lets Bloomberg join Democratic debates

He was a late entry into the presidential race, funded entirely by his own vast fortune, estimated at $60 billion.

And now, thanks to a rule change on Friday by the Democratic Party, media mogul Mike Bloomberg can participate in the next Democratic debate – which is just two and a half weeks away.

Bloomberg had failed to qualify for previous Democratic debates – which had required that candidates show grassroots support by collecting donations from thousands of donors.

With that rule now overturned, the billionaire can take the stage among his Democratic rivals despite fueling his campaign solely with his own cash – more than $200 million worth by the end of 2019.

That figure has likely swelled in January as he has continued to pump millions of dollars into television ads and other costs of running a campaign.

While he trails Democratic front-runners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders in public opinion polls, Bloomberg’s level of support is rising.

Sanders and fellow contender Elizabeth Warren, however, accuse him of trying to buy the election.

The former New York City mayor told Reuters recently he’s simply doing whatever it takes to oust the current White House inhabitant.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, SAYING: "I'm spending all my money to get rid of Donald Trump.

Do you want me to spend more or less?

End of story." The next Democratic debate takes place February 19th in Nevada.

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