During a rally Monday night in Tacoma, Washington attended by more than 17,000 people, Sen. Bernie Sanders took aim at billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg's efforts to buy his way into presidential contention, condemned the former New York City mayor's record of supporting racist policies, and highlighted the former Republican's history of opposing basic progressive economic initiatives like raising the federal minimum wage.
"Today, we say to Mayor Bloomberg, we are a democracy, not an oligarchy," Sanders said to cheers from the crowd. "You are not going to buy this election."
"We say to Mr. Bloomberg, you are certainly not going to win when you have a record in New York City that included racist policies like stop and frisk," the Vermont senator added. "You're not going to win an election when you oppose raising the minimum wage... You're not going to win an election when you call for cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid."
.@BernieSanders to over 17,000 in Tacoma, Washington:
"Today we say to Mayor Bloomberg: we are a democracy, not an oligarchy, you're not gonna buy this election... pic.twitter.com/jFjVdJ2Mwk
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) February 18, 2020
Sanders' rally in Washington, the largest any candidate has held in the state in the 2020 election cycle so far, came after Bloomberg late Monday added to his earlier attacks on the Sanders campaign with an email to supporters containing the all-caps subject line: "BERNIE'S NEW BRO... DONALD TRUMP."
The email cited a number of tweets from Sanders staffers calling Bloomberg an "oligarch" and a "racist" and claimed Sanders and Trump are using the "very same attacks and tactics against Mike."
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In response, Sanders Monday night tweeted an old photo of Trump and Bloomberg on the golf course:
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 17, 2020
David Sirota, Sanders' speechwriter, tweeted Monday that Bloomberg's attacks on Sanders "can be best understood as the enraged temper tantrum of a billionaire who has up until now been able to buy everything he wants—but who is now worried he may not be able to buy the presidency, and so he's lashing out in an effort to silence critics."
"Michael Bloomberg can throw all the temper tantrums he wants," Sirota added, "but we will not be silenced—we will continue to show exactly why Bernie Sanders has a far better record and will be a far better nominee than the billionaire former GOP mayor trying to buy the primary."
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll showed Bloomberg in second place in Nevada. The survey was national. The error has been fixed.