The online ads target voters in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin ― all battleground states ― and began running Friday, according to multiple outlets. The spots will run through the end of the primary season, regardless of whether Bloomberg launches a presidential bid.
It’s the latest sign that the billionaire is seriously weighing a run. On Tuesday, he registered for the Arkansas primary, and the week before, he registered for Alabama’s ― both of which fall on Super Tuesday.
If he enters the race, Bloomberg reportedly plans to skip campaigning in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire and focus instead on the 14 states holding primaries on that pivotal primary day, which will fall on March 3.
In an ABC News interview last week, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called Bloomberg’s consideration of a run “the arrogance of billionaires,” and chastised Bloomberg’s strategy as the thinking of someone who feels “he’s too important.”
“You see, when you’re worth $50 billion, I guess you don’t have to have town meetings, you don’t have to talk to ordinary people,” Sanders said. “What you do is you take out, I guess a couple of billion dollars, and you buy the state of California.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), another White House hopeful, echoed Sanders’ discomfort with the idea of Bloomberg jumping into the race, arguing it’s not the time for the mega-rich to run.
“When people look at this White House and see this multi-millionaire ... I don’t think they say, ‘Oh, we need someone richer,’” she told CNN. “I think you have to earn votes and not buy them.”