Short-Lived: Bloomberg Quits Race After Spending More Than Half a Billion

Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg / Getty Images
March 4, 2020

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg ended his run of record spending Wednesday, with American Samoa the only win in his presidential primary column after a Super Tuesday bust.

Bloomberg came into the race late, not even competing in the first four primary states, after concluding that former vice president Joe Biden was likely to fade as the top challenger to democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.). But after a morning meeting with his top advisers, Bloomberg concluded "the delegate math has become virtually impossible" and threw his support behind Biden.

"I've always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday's vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden," Bloomberg said in a statement. "I've known Joe for a very long time. I know his decency, his honesty, and his commitment to the issues that are so important to our country—including gun safety, health care, climate change, and good jobs."

The Bloomberg campaign spent an unprecedented fortune putting his advertisements on every corner of television and the internet, along with billboards and even professional memes. But when that spending failed to translate into primary victories Tuesday night, President Donald Trump was quick to sum up his campaign as "$700 million washed down the drain, and he got nothing for it but the nickname Mini Mike, and the complete destruction of his reputation."

Less than 12 hours later, Bloomberg was out.

Democratic rivals accused Bloomberg of trying to "buy" the election, in spite of his eventual poor showing. The toughest shots he took from Democratic rivals may have come from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), whose Super Tuesday failures even in Massachusetts left many speculating that she is also soon to depart from the race.