After Mike Bloomberg tanked during his debate debut in Las Vegas, his fellow New Yorker Andrew Cuomo offered him a piece of advice: Up the spending.
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Cuomo, the New York governor, quipped that the Democratic presidential hopeful should “break out another hundred million” during Thursday press briefing, according to The New York Post.
“He’s done very well with the advertising,” Cuomo said. “The amount of funding a person has is a major factor.”
Bloomberg is financing his own campaign, using his $60 billion fortune to saturate the airwaves with ads for his campaign. According to Federal Election Committee filings released on Thursday, the former New York City mayor spent an unprecedented $463 million in the three months since he launched his campaign, far surpassing the amount spent and raised by his 2020 rivals.
One of the richest people in the world, Bloomberg has drawn criticism for funding his own campaign. Political opponents, including other Democrats and President Trump, have accused him of trying to buy the election.
But his spending feat has begun to pay off: The Republican-turned-Democrat surged to third nationally this month, according to an average of polls by RealClearPolitics. He still trails frontrunner Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.
During the debate, Bloomberg bore the brunt of attacks from progressives and moderates alike, who hammered him on everything ranging from sexual harassment claims at Bloomberg LP, the financial company he founded, and his status as a billionaire.
Providing additional fodder to his rivals were several resurfaced audio clips of Bloomberg that emerged in the weeks leading up to the debate, including ones that that revealed the 78-year-old billionaire defending "stop and frisk," the controversial policing strategy that disproportionately targeted men of color, and blaming the end of "redlining," a discriminatory policy that cut off certain neighborhoods and potential homebuyers from mortgage lending opportunities for the financial crisis.
“I think he needs better answers than he gave last night,” Cuomo said. “I don’t think it’s rust. It’s the substance he has a problem with."