INTERNATIONAL

A rising Bloomberg qualifies for U.S. Democratic debate

Mike Bloomberg

Mike Bloomberg  

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg has qualified for the upcoming Democratic presidential debate, marking the first time he will stand alongside the rivals he has so far avoided by bypassing the early voting States and using his personal fortune to define himself through Television advertisements.

A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll published on Tuesday shows Mr. Bloomberg with 19% support nationally in the Democratic nominating contest, second to Bernie Sanders at 31%. That meant he cleared a polling threshold set by the Democratic National Committee.

The former New York City Mayor, who launched his presidential campaign in November, will appear in Wednesday’s debate in Las Vegas alongside former Vice-President Joe Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“Mike is looking forward to joining the other Democratic candidates on stage and making the case for why he’s the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump and unite the country,” the Bloomberg campaign said in a statement. “The opportunity to discuss his workable and achievable plans for the challenges facing this country is an important part of the campaign process,” it added.

His fellow Democratic contenders have stepped up their attacks against him in recent days, decrying him for trying to “buy the election” and criticising his support of the “stop-and-frisk” tactic while Mayor that led the police to target mostly black and Hispanic men for searches.

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