Michael Bloomberg will refuse political donations if he runs for president and will work for only $1 a year if he wins, according to senior aides who offered new details today about the New York billionaire's financial plans as the prospect of his formal 2020 presidential bid looms. “He has never taken a political contribution in his life. He is not about to start,” Bloomberg chief adviser Howard Wolfson said in an interview with the AP. “He cannot be bought.” Trump employed a similar message in his 2016 campaign, however he ultimately accepted millions of dollars in donations. Bloomberg, estimated to be one of the 10 richest people in the world has in recent days created a presidential campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission and qualified for the primary ballot in at least states.
Bloomberg’s team has stashed away $30 million in television ads to begin running Sunday in several primary states—10 weeks before primary voting commences in Iowa. Democratic rivals, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, expressed “disgust” at the idea Bloomberg or any billionaire can “circumvent the political process and spend tens of millions of dollars to buy elections,” he wrote Friday on Twitter. Bloomberg and his team have pushed back, saying that his wealth allows him to be more responsive to the concerns of everyday people because he isn’t beholden to special interests.