Politics

'I have the same rights as anybody else' to run in the 2020 election, Mike Bloomberg says

Key Points
  • Addressing criticism that his ego pushed him to enter the 2020 presidential race, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg says he has "the same rights as anybody else" to run.
  • "Yeah, I guess it takes an ego to think that you could do the job," he tells CBS.
  • Bloomberg, whose net worth according to Forbes is around $55 billion, has seen push-back regarding his status as another wealthy white man to enter the race.
Newly announced Democratic presidential candidate, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg meets Virginia House Delegate-Elect Nancy Guy (not seen) at a coffee shop on November 25, 2019 in Norfolk, Virginia.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Addressing criticism that his ego pushed him to enter the 2020 presidential race, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg says he has "the same rights as anybody else" to run.

Bloomberg, whose net worth according to Forbes is around $55 billion, has seen pushback regarding his status as another wealthy white man to enter the race.

"Yeah, I guess it takes an ego to think that you could do the job," he said in an interview that aired Friday on "CBS This Morning."

He then revisited some of his accomplishments as mayor. "I have 12 years of experience in City Hall. And I think if you go back today and ask most people about those 12 years, they would say that the — not me, but the team that I put together — made an enormous difference in New York City. And New York City benefited from it and continues to benefit from it today from what we did then."

He added that he had the best chance among all the candidates to beat President Donald Trump in 2020. "I think that I would do the best job of competing with him and beating him," he said in the interview, which was conducted Thursday.

But jumping into the race should not be seen as a slap to front-runner Joe Biden, he added.

"He doesn't have the job of president of the United States and neither do I," Bloomberg said. "At the moment, the person that has it is Donald Trump. I'm trying to take away the job from Donald Trump."

Bloomberg dismissed concerns about diversity in the field as black and Latino candidates struggle to compete. Sen. Kamala Harris dropped out this week, citing lack of resources. Currently, all the candidates who have qualified for the Democratic debate on Dec. 19 are white.

"Entry is not a barrier" Bloomberg said. "I thought there was a lot of diversity in the group of Democratic aspirants."

But he added, "The public is out there picking and choosing and narrowing down this field. The truth of the matter is you had a lot of diversity in the candidates, some of whom were very competent. Why they aren't there as you narrowed it down, I — you have to talk to other people who are experts. I don't know."

Among the billionaire's biggest critics are Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who have accused him of trying to buy the election. Since his campaign launch on Nov. 24, Bloomberg has invested more than $57 million in TV advertising.

Bloomberg decided to skip the first four nominating states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — focusing his campaign on Super Tuesday on March 3, when the largest number of states and territories hold primaries or caucuses.

The former mayor teased the idea of a presidential bid for weeks prior to entering the race but said in March that he would not run for president.

A national poll from the Economist and YouGov puts him at 3% support among voters.

VIDEO7:0307:03
How Democratic voters may view Bloomberg's bid for the presidency

Correction: An earlier version misstated the day the interview was conducted.