Michael Bloomberg ended his presidential campaign Wednesday morning, following a disappointing Super Tuesday for the former New York City mayor and businessman. He has endorsed Joe Biden.
“Three months ago, I entered the race for President to defeat Donald Trump,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump – because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult.”
Bloomberg added, “I’ve known Joe for a very long time. I know his decency, his honesty, and his commitment to the issues that are so important to our country – including gun safety, health care, climate change, and good jobs.”
Bloomberg’s decision to throw his hat in the ring late in the primary process initially appeared to work in his favor. He soared in polls among black voters and was even in first and second place in states like Arkansas, Florida, and Missouri in mid-February. This was buoyed in large part by the vast sums of money he injected into his campaign apparatus: he spent hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising, and staffers enjoyed high wages and a slew of perks that only a billionaire’s campaign could produce.
But Bloomberg’s run was marred by his checkered career, including his defense of New York’s racist stop-and-frisk policy and accusations that he fostered a workplace that was hostile against women. Several stories of the frat boy atmosphere, rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, were unearthed, including the fact that several employees were silenced by decades-long nondisclosure agreements that Bloomberg was reluctant to release. Additionally, a disastrous first debate performance—aided by Elizabeth Warren making Bloomberg’s sexism a centerpiece—did little to aid him in the polls. He eventually released three women from their NDAs, but characterized Warren’s focus on the issue as obsessive in the February 25 debate, lamenting “enough is never enough.”
As Biden surged following a series of endorsements and a win in South Carolina, Bloomberg flatlined. And by Super Tuesday, he absolutely flopped, after spending more than $500 million in just 100 days of campaigning. Good riddance to Bloomberg, whose parting, still is bittersweet: Partially because of slight joy in his chaotic drama, but mostly because Biden just picked up more votes.