In the wake of Joe Biden’s startling comeback on Super Tuesday, Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has given up his bid for the Democratic nomination. As quickly as the former New York mayor dropped out of the race, he threw his support behind Biden, officially endorsing the former Vice President.
Bloomberg dropping out marks the end of an unprecedented, high-spending, self-funded campaign that rejected conventional campaign tactics.
His announcement comes as early results in Super Tuesday states show that he failed to become the choice of centrists as dropout candidates and Democratic leaders coalesced around the former vice president in the days before the Tuesday contests.
“I’m a believer in using data to inform decisions. After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible — and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists,” Bloomberg said in a statement Wednesday.
He endorsed centrist ally Biden in an apparent bid to stop socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders from winning the Democratic presidential nomination.
“I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg, 78, made his late entry into the Democratic presidential field in November, reportedly deciding to run after Biden faltered in the polls. His expensive, unconventional campaign met with criticism from his rivals and party insiders.
Rival candidates scolded Bloomberg for his massive personal spending. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused Bloomberg of trying to buy the presidency.
Bloomberg skipped competing in the first four nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada and instead directed resources across Super Tuesday states that were expensive for his competitors to reach. The tactic angered party officials in the early states, who argued candidates should demonstrate traditional grassroots strength.
Rising left-wing factions in the Democratic Party proved to be a challenge for Bloomberg. In the weeks before he launched his campaign, Bloomberg apologized for supporting stop-and-frisk policing tactics that he pushed while he was the mayor of New York City, and his campaign team apologized for his past comments disparaging women.
Democratic presidential debates exposed a stiff candidate unprepared to rebut harsh attacks on his record and alleged treatment of women, particularly from Warren.
President Trump, who has been relentless in mocking Bloomberg over everything from his height to his debate performances, delivered his barbed observations on the race once more after Bloomberg dropped out.
“Mini Mike Bloomberg just ‘quit’ the race for President. I could have told him long ago that he didn’t have what it takes, and he would have saved himself a billion dollars, the real cost. Now he will pour money into Sleepy Joe’s campaign, hoping to save face. It won’t work!” he tweeted.