MIAMI, Florida—Mike Bloomberg started the most important day of his 2020 campaign scolding a sea of reporters about rival Joe Biden’s momentum and refusing to drop out of the Democratic primary.
“Joe’s taking votes away from me,” Bloomberg said at his campaign’s Little Havana field office when asked by a reporter about moderates dropping out to support Biden in the last 24 hours.
“Have you asked Joe whether he’s going to drop out?” Bloomberg then challenged. “When you ask him that then you can call me.”
When a reporter asked a follow up, Bloomberg scolded that it was the same question that had just been asked.
“I have no intention of dropping out,” Bloomberg said. “We’re in it to win it.”
The former New York City mayor has staked his last minute 2020 campaign on a strong showing in today’s Super Tuesday contests. But Biden’s once struggling effort has surged since his win Saturday in the South Carolina primary. Recent rivals like former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) ended their runs this week and pledged their support to Biden.
The top two spots are expected to go to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Biden on Tuesday, leaving Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) fighting for third—although Bloomberg didn’t seem aware of that fact.
“If there’s only three candidates, you can’t do worse than that,” he said in response to a reporter who asked if he’d accept third place.
The reporter reminded him that Warren, who has eight delegates, is still in the primary race, according to The Hill.
“I didn’t realize she’s still in, is she?” Bloomberg asked.
In his campaign office on Tuesday, Bloomberg interjected when a female reporter asked a lengthy question and grew increasingly indignant as she continued her query.
“Are you going to ask or are you going to give a lecture?” Bloomberg said.
Asked later about what states he expects to win and what a win would look like on Super Tuesday, Bloomberg dodged the question.
“You don’t have to win states, you have to win delegates,” he said. “And I think what happens here is nobody gets a majority.”
That would mean a contested convention for the Democrats which may hinder the party as it tries to beat President Donald Trump in November’s general election. Pressed on whether he wants a contested convention, the former mayor said he didn't “think that I could win any other ways.”
Bloomberg also used the Little Havana setting to slam Sanders over his affectionate comments for deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s literacy program.
“We will not win Florida with a candidate who sings the praises of Fidel Castro and downplays the atrocities committed in Cuba,” Bloomberg said.