Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) doesn’t think that fellow Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg would fare too well against President Donald Trump on the debate stage.
On Friday morning, CBS’s “60 Minutes” posted a portion of an interview from Sanders’ upcoming appearance on Sunday’s show. In the segment, the Vermont senator spoke with show contributor Anderson Cooper about Bloomberg’s performance at the Democratic debate Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
When Cooper asked Sanders if he was “surprised by how unprepared” Bloomberg appeared “for some very basic obvious questions,” the candidate answered that he was.
“And, you know,” Sanders continued, “if that’s what happened in a Democratic debate, you know, I, I think it’s quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out.”
Bloomberg — who announced his campaign in November but only qualified for his first primary debate this month — was widely criticized as appearing ill-prepared for the debate showdown. On Thursday, a Bloomberg senior campaign adviser explained that the former mayor “wasn’t ready” for other candidates’ attempts to “knock him out,” but said the New York billionaire would be ready for the next debate.
Later in the “60 Minutes” segment, Cooper asked if Sanders was less worried about Bloomberg as a rival after this week’s debate.
“I am worried about an unprecedented amount of money being spent on a campaign,” Sanders responded. “You know, we’ve never seen anything like this in American history. And I just think though that the American people will rebel against this type of oligarchic movement. We are a democracy. One person, one vote. Not a guy worth $60 billion buying an election.”
Bloomberg’s wealth, and the amount of it he’s been willing to spend on this election cycle, have also been a point of criticism for the former mayor. On Thursday, his campaign admitted to spending over $220 million in the month of January alone, according to Reuters, which brought its total spending to over $400 million so far. Sanders, by contrast, spent $26 million in January.