“Maybe it shows that all the money in the world can’t buy an election.”
That was billionaire Mike Bloomberg’s big takeaway from Democrat Jon Ossoff’s loss Tuesday night in Georgia’s 6th District to Republican Karen Handel. Despite pumping more than $23 million into the race, the Democratic Party could not take back the congressional seat, which has been in Republican hands for nearly four decades.
“We focus on money. Why? Because there’s a lot of people who make money, the advertisers, the news stations, the television stations, whatever,” Bloomberg said on The View Wednesday morning. “But the public is a lot smarter than people give them credit for. And they look and they see and they decide.”
Turning to the 2016 election, which he ultimately decided to stay out of after Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination over Bernie Sanders, Bloomberg cited fellow billionaire Donald Trump as another example of this phenomenon.
“Donald Trump showed you can get elected president of the United States without spending a lot of money,” he said. “He got a lot of free advertising, because he said things that the newspapers and television stations thought the public wanted to hear.” Either that or he was so outrageously unpredictable that they couldn’t look away.
Bloomberg, who seems to have forgotten the fact that he called Trump a “dangerous demagogue” at the Democratic National Convention, now says we must “all hope that Donald Trump is a good president of the United States.”
“He’s our president and we need this country to be run well,” he continued, noting that while he didn’t vote for Trump, he “would not make the mistake” that Senate Leader Mitch McConnell made in 2009 when he vowed to do everything in his power to make Barack Obama a one-term president.
Bloomberg’s message that money doesn’t matter in politics anymore is particularly ironic coming from a man who spent more than $100 million of his own money in 2009 to narrowly win re-election for an unprecedented third term as New York City’s mayor. During the 2016 race, he donated more than $65 million to issues like gun violence prevention in addition to individual candidates on both sides of the political aisle.
If Bloomberg really believes that “all the money in the world” can’t change the American people’s minds, does that mean he’s going to stop spending his own fortune to do just that?