Bernie Sanders laughs at idea of Jeff Bezos floating Michael Bloomberg's presidential run


CORALVILLE, Iowa - When U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders learned Saturday that Amazon owner Jeff Bezos reportedly asked fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg about running for president, Sanders couldn't contain his laughter to speak.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was in Iowa campaigning for Sanders, jumped in while Sanders composed himself.

"Of course!" she said in an interview with the Des Moines Register. "They've got class solidarity. The billionaires are looking out for each other. They're willing to transcend difference and background and even politics.

"The fact that Bill Gates seems more willing to vote for Donald Trump than anyone else tells you everything you need to know about how far they're willing to go to protect their excess, at the cost to everyday Americans."

Sanders jumped in to joke that the two billionaires make for their own "strong grassroots movement."

More: Michael Bloomberg qualifies for Democratic primary ballot in Alabama

"Jeff Bezos, worth $150 billion, supporting Mike Bloomberg, whose worth only $50 billion, that's real class solidarity," Sanders said with a chuckle. "I'm impressed by that grassroots movement. We on the other hand have had over a million people contribute to our campaign, in millions of individual contributions averaging $16 a piece. That's what we get from working class people. So a little bit different approach to politics."

On the campaign trail, Sanders frequently says that Amazon raised its starting wage to $15 an hour after pressure from him.

Earlier Saturday, at a Des Moines summit on the climate change crisis, Sanders criticized billionaires deciding to run for president just because they have tremendous wealth. He didn't name Bloomberg then, but made his point clear in an interview. Extreme wealth inequality, coupled with lack of regulation - like unlimited political spending allowed under the Citizens United Supreme Court decision - is seeping deeper into politics via things like the "absurdity" of Bloomberg pondering a run, he said.

"He's deciding because he is worth $50 billion, he's going to run for president of the United States," Sanders said. "He doesn't have to worry about coming into Iowa, he doesn't have to worry about going to New Hampshire or Nevada or South Carolina. He's just going to spend, I suspect, hundreds of millions of dollars in media in California because he's a billionaire. So that's the corruption of the political system based on the kind of massive wealth inequality that exists right now."

Sanders brought up Bloomberg when tying his "Green New Deal" - the stated theme behind Ocasio-Cortez's visit to Iowa - to a broader "class war" Sanders sometimes describes on the campaign trail.

"When you talk about class warfare within the context of climate change, like Alexandria was just saying, the fossil fuels industry makes billions of billions of dollars in profits every single year, and the people who suffer the most are often lowest income people. But it's not just low income people. Family farmers in Iowa and agriculture in Iowa is going to be suffering."

The "Green New Deal" would create "millions of good paying jobs while we save the planet for our children," Sanders promised. The $16.2 trillion proposal, spread over 10 years, aims to fundamentally remake the economy around renewable energy and decarbonization.

Ocasio-Cortez, a lead sponsor of the "Green New Deal" in Congress, agreed with the class war framework. Oil companies knew in the 1970s that carbon emissions would lead to global temperature increases, she said, and prioritized profits over being part of the solution.

"The climate crisis is not impacting all of us equally," Ocasio-Cortez said. "It's happening along class lines, so I think it's important to acknowledge the essential classism in the issue and how it's impacting us."

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Bernie Sanders, AOC react to Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg report


More Related News

Ten Thousand Day Traders an Hour Are Buying Tesla Shares
Ten Thousand Day Traders an Hour Are Buying Tesla Shares

(Bloomberg) -- Robinhood users can't get enough of Tesla Inc.Almost 40,000 Robinhood accounts added shares of the automaker during a single four-hour span on Monday, according to website, which compiles data on the investing platform that's much beloved by day trading millennials.The one-day return may not have turned out so well. Tesla was up as much as 16% at one point before paring gains through the day and finishing 3% lower. It was a rare losing day for the high flying stock, which has surged 56% over the past 10 days.All told this year, Tesla's market cap has surged by $202 billion, pushing Elon Musk past Warren Buffett in rankings of the world's wealthiest people and...

Stocks Decline After Reaching Covid Crash High: Markets Wrap
Stocks Decline After Reaching Covid Crash High: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks declined after the S&P 500 briefly touched the highest level since the coronavirus pandemic sent markets tumbling worldwide in March. Crude oil also turned lower.The main U.S. equity index stumbled in afternoon trading on signs the virus was throttling reopening plans in states like California. An increase in tensions with China also damaged sentiment. The measures had almost reclaimed a gain for the year before stumbling. It's still down almost 7% from a Feb. 19 high.The volatility in the S&P also corresponded with prices swings in Tesla Inc., which is in the Nasdaq Composite. The Nasdaq hit another record high before closing in the red. The Dow Jones...

Moderna Jumps as Analyst Sees Over $5 Billion Vaccine Sales
Moderna Jumps as Analyst Sees Over $5 Billion Vaccine Sales

(Bloomberg) -- Moderna Inc.'s experimental vaccine for Covid-19 could generate sales of more than $5 billion a year, Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said, initiating the stock at a buy.The shares jumped as much as 5.6% in Monday trading after the bullish review. A more than 230% surge for the stock since the start of the year has split Wall Street as to "what will happen or if the vaccine will even work," and investors are "hugely divided on valuation," Yee wrote in his note to clients."We believe the Street will be surprised to the upside if the Covid-19 vaccine works, gets approved by early 2021, and there are multi-billion dollars of purchase orders from USA and around the world," he...

Papa John
Papa John's Hits Record as Chain Moves Past Schnatter Turmoil

(Bloomberg) -- Papa John's International Inc. shares hit an all-time high, a sign the company has recovered from the controversy generated by its former chairman.The pizza chain's stock rose as much as 2.4% to $90.96 in New York, surpassing the previous intraday high set in December 2016. The shares

China to Sanction U.S. Senators Rubio, Cruz Over Xinjiang
China to Sanction U.S. Senators Rubio, Cruz Over Xinjiang

(Bloomberg) -- China announced sanctions against U.S. officials including Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, in a largely symbolic retaliation over legislation intended to punish Beijing for its treatment of ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America