Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday bristled at the suggestion that he should follow the lead of Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar by dropping out of the presidential race in order to clear a path for former Vice President Joe Biden.
At a campaign stop in Miami, reporters asked Bloomberg whether he had concerns that his presidential bid would end up boosting Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) by peeling moderate voters away from Biden, who gained a slew of top party endorsements after his blowout win in South Carolina over the weekend.
“Joe’s taking votes away from me ... have you asked Joe if he’s going to drop out?” Bloomberg shot back. “I have no intention of dropping out.”
During a press conference in Miami, FL I asked @MikeBloomberg why he doesn’t drop out to clear a path for former VP Joe Biden.
“Have you asked Joe whether he’s going to drop out?” Bloomberg responded. pic.twitter.com/irb3DgPSEn
— Tim Perry (@tperry518) March 3, 2020
Bloomberg entered the race late, in November, and decided not to compete in any of the first four nominating states.
Asked about his path forward if he doesn’t win any primaries on Tuesday, Bloomberg said, “You don’t have to win states, you have to win delegates,” suggesting he planned to stay in the race until the Democratic National Convention in Wisconsin later this year.
“I don’t think that I can win any other ways, but a contested convention is a democratic process,” the billionaire former Republican added.
After Associated Press reporter Alexandra Jaffe attempted to ask him about the daunting delegate math once more, Bloomberg appeared to get visibly frustrated, saying, “Miss, are you gonna ask or are you gonna give a lecture?”
Tuesday is a pivotal day in the race for the Democratic nomination. With more than 1,000 delegates up for grabs, the results from 14 different states heading to the polls will help determine the path forward for the remaining candidates, as well the Democratic Party itself. Bloomberg, in particular, is facing growing pressure to drop out so as to not help Sanders, a scenario many establishment Democrats fear would lead to Donald Trump’s reelection.
“There’s only one viable candidate Bloomberg’s campaign is advancing, and that’s Bernie Sanders. He’s just functioning as a pro-Bernie super PAC by staying in, but the countdown clock is ticking. Even billionaires aren’t impervious to irony that thick,” said one Biden ally who requested anonymity to speak freely.
Bloomberg on Tuesday also took a swing at Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, the other progressive in the race. In Miami, a reporter noted that Bloomberg may end up landing in fourth place, behind the senator, who is similarly planning on staying in the race until the convention. Bloomberg replied, “I didn’t realize she’s still in, is she?”
— Ben Swasey (@benswasey) March 3, 2020
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.