DALLAS — Mike Bloomberg isn’t going to be the loudest campaigner in the Democratic primary contest, and he’s not planning to spend time talking about his rivals. With the first votes just weeks away, he acts more like he’s running in a general election than a primary.
While the top Democratic candidates campaigned in Iowa and Nevada this weekend, Bloomberg was on a five-stop bus tour Saturday of reliably Republican Texas, which doesn’t vote until March 3. The only rival he spoke about was President Donald Trump, and he talked about Texas as a battleground in November rather than a soon-to-be-voting primary state.
The Texas tour was an early touch-the-flesh foray for Bloomberg, who is trying to reach voters with hundreds of millions of dollars in television and digital advertising as he tries to rewrite the playbook of running for president. While other candidates have sought to prove themselves in the quaint retail politics of traditional starting states, Bloomberg’s approach is decidedly wholesale, with a focus on large states with far more delegates at stake.
As for his fellow Democrats, Bloomberg said he welcomes any criticism they want to throw his way. He didn’t mention anyone by name, but Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in particular have hit him for being a billionaire — he has an estimated worth of more than $50 billion — who can self-fund his campaign with essentially an unlimited budget.