Bernie Bits: Sanders Dismisses Bloomberg Buzz, Newspaper Nods | Off Message

Bernie Bits: Sanders Dismisses Bloomberg Buzz, Newspaper Nods

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Reacting to reports that former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg might join the presidential race, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Sunday that he relished the prospect.

"Well, my reaction is that if Donald Trump wins and Mr. Bloomberg gets in, you're going to have two multi-billionaires running for president of the United States against me," Sanders said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "And I think the American people do not want to see our nation move toward an oligarchy where billionaires control the political process. I think we'll win that election."

On Saturday, the New York Times broke the news that a surge of support for Trump and Sanders had prompted Bloomberg to revisit his long-running desire to seek the presidency. Earlier on "Meet the Press," former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said she, too, wasn't worried — but for a different reason. 

"Well, the way I read what [Bloomberg] said is if I didn't get the nomination, he might consider it," Clinton said. "Well, I'm going to relieve him of that and get the nomination so he doesn't have to."

Clinton, who has lagged behind Sanders in several recent polls, picked up endorsements Sunday from the leading newspapers in Iowa and New Hampshire. 

"The presidency is not an entry-level position," the Des Moines Register's editorial board wrote. "By that measure, Democrats have one outstanding candidate deserving of their support: Hillary Clinton. No other candidate can match the depth or breadth of her knowledge and experience."

The Register hailed Sanders as "a man of courage and principle" who had prompted a discussion about income inequality. 

"But Sanders admits that virtually all of his plans for reform have no chance of being approved by a Congress that bears any resemblance to the current crop of federal lawmakers," the paper wrote. "This is why, he says, voters can’t simply elect him president, but must instead spark a 'political revolution.'"

In New Hampshire, the Concord Monitor's editorial board made similar points, though it struck a harsher tone toward Sanders.

"Only one Democratic candidate for president is truly qualified to hold the job: Hillary Clinton," it wrote. "No contender’s resume can come within miles of matching Clinton’s."

Sanders, the paper argued, "is a foreign policy naif, albeit one who made the right call in opposing the war in Iraq." As for his single-payer health care proposal, it continued, "Virtually none of what he has pledged to do is achievable."

Asked about the endorsements Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Sanders sounded nonplussed. 

"We are taking on the entire establishment. We are taking on the economic establishment. We’re taking on the political establishment. And, [with] all due respect, we are taking on the media establishment," he said. "I expect that Secretary Clinton will get a lot of the endorsements from mainstream media. But I have the endorsement and I’m very proud to say of 2.5 million individual contributions to my campaign."


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