In his first TV interview on Friday as a presidential candidate, the 77-year-old former New York mayor slammed his Democratic White House rivals saying they “had a chance to go out and make a lot of money” themselves, and then use it to fund their campaigns, Presstv Reported.
“I turn and they’re criticizing me for it,” he told CBS News. “They had a chance to go out and make a lot of money. And how much of their own money do they put into their campaigns?”
“I’m doing exactly the same thing they’re doing, except that I am using my own money,” he added. “They’re using somebody else’s money and those other people expect something from them. Nobody gives you money if they don’t expect something. And I don’t want to be bought.”
Bloomberg has been privately criticizing his rivals but this was the first time he had been so outspoken publicly.
"I looked at our national government getting worse, the way we're behaving overseas and domestically, led by our president. I said back in 2016, 'He [Trump] is the wrong person for the job. He doesn't have the temperament or the ethics or the intellect to do the job,'" he said.
Bloomberg added, "And I said, 'We just can't have another four years of this.' And then I watched all the candidates. And I just thought to myself: 'Donald Trump would eat 'em up'."
Bloomberg is concerned that liberal candidates such as US Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and their proposed expensive expansion of government programs, will alienate Democratic voters in battleground states.
Sanders has said that billionaires are trying to “buy” the US election.
"We do not believe that billionaires have the right to buy elections, and that is why we are going to overturn Citizens United, that is why multi-billionaires like Mr. Bloomberg are not going to get very far in this election, that is why we are going to end voter suppression in America," the Vermont senator said at his campaign event last month.
On Wednesday, Warren accused Bloomberg of trying to buy the presidency following his self-funded campaign’s unprecedented spending on ads.
“What’s broken in America is we’ve got a country that is working great for those at the top, an economy that’s working great for those at the top, and a democracy that is working great for those at the top,” the Massachusetts senator told Bloomberg TV.