Klobuchar: Bloomberg Winning Nomination Without Debating ‘Can’t Happen’

Bloomberg 'has got to debate people'

Presidential hopeful Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) said Sunday that former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg winning the Democratic nomination for president "can't happen" if he stays off the debate stage.

Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Klobuchar about the possibility of Bloomberg winning the nomination without participating in any Democratic primary debates.

"That can't happen," Klobuchar said, adding that Bloomberg "has got to debate people."

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Klobuchar also pushed back on the contention that Bloomberg was cutting into her "space" as a self-defined moderate alternative to former vice president Joe Biden. She claimed that Bloomberg's reasons for entering—particularly the alleged weakness of the field—were baseless.

"Well, it is more about money in politics for me," she said. "I have admiration for the work that he's done. I don't buy this argument you get in because everyone else sucks. I just don't."

"I think we have strong candidates. I don't think any of the polling or the numbers show that people are dissatisfied with all their candidates," she added.

Klobuchar admitted to Todd that her campaign could improve its fundraising performance, saying she does not have the resources to compete with billionaire candidates—like Bloomberg and hedge fund manager Tom Steyer—running massive advertising campaigns.

"It cannot be all about money, or rich people would be running and winning in every Senate race in the country," she said.

Bloomberg marked his entrance into the race with an aggressive advertising campaign involving the purchase of at least $30 million in television ads over the course of a week. That number dwarfed the spending of other Democratic candidates, most of whom did not crack the $1 million mark.

Bloomberg's decision to self-finance his campaign means he cannot qualify for any of the Democratic presidential debates. The next debate, which Klobuchar has qualified for, will be held on Dec. 19.