WASHINGTON | US billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the Democratic nomination contestant for the presidential election in November, will take part in his first televised campaign debate on Wednesday, his team announced on Tuesday.
Attacks by rivals, frontrunner Bernie Sanders in the lead, are poised to fire against the former New York mayor in their first televised confrontation.
The ninth richest man on the planet in 2019, Michael Bloomberg, drawing on his some 60 billion fortune, rocked the Democratic campaign.
Financial news giant Bloomberg News boss is accused by his rivals of having “bought” his place in the campaign with his immense resources, and risking a conflict of interest.
In this regard, a senior adviser to Michael Bloomberg said that he plans to sell his company, which employs some 2,700 people worldwide. In an interview aired on CNN on Tuesday, councilor Tim O’Brien did not say whether he would do so in the event of a US presidential victory or a possible Democratic inauguration.
“Mike will be releasing his tax returns. Mike Bloomberg will also sell Bloomberg LP. There will be no confusion over his financial assets, “said O’Brien.
In 2018, Mr. Bloomberg explained that in the event that he was elected, he would place his companies in a trust entrusted to a trusted person, or sell his business.
The billionaire made the bet of a late entry into the presidential campaign, in November, but compensated his delay with already more than 300 million dollars of investments in publicity spots.
The 78-year-old candidate’s advertising avalanche has already had a striking impact: he has climbed to third place in the national poll average established by RealClearPolitics.
Michael Bloomberg even comes second in two new polls released on Tuesday.
In an investigation by NPR / PBS / Marist, Bloomberg is ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden (15%), who is losing ground after having long been leading the polls.
Independent senator Bernie Sanders sits as favorite by widening the gap, with 31% of voting intentions in the study.
A second poll conducted for Reuters by Ipsos also places it in second position with 17%, behind Bernie Sanders (25%), but ahead of Joe Biden (13%).
Leaving the first states of the Democratic primaries, with few delegates, Michael Bloomberg is betting on entering the race during “Super Tuesday” on March 3, in which 14 states will vote.
Eight candidates are still in contention to face President Donald Trump on November 3. It is the one who obtains a majority of delegates (1991) who will represent the Democratic Party against the Republican billionaire.
The Democratic Party changed the rules for Wednesday’s debate.
No more need to show the support of thousands of small donors, only the polls and the number of delegates already picked up by the candidates count. This opened the door for Mr. Bloomberg, who funds his campaign himself.
“Mike looks forward to joining the other Democratic candidates on the stage and explaining why he is the best candidate to beat Donald Trump and unify the country,” campaign director Kevin Sheekey said on Tuesday.
The flip-flop has been criticized by other nomination contestants, who accuse Michael Bloomberg of “buying” his entry into the primaries.
This democratic debate will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the third primary vote will be held on Saturday.