Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg vowed to take his campaign across the country, touting his support and potential to take on President Trump in November, despite a lackluster performance on Super Tuesday.
Early Tuesday night, Bloomberg's only victory was the American Samoa caucuses, which awarded him just five delegates. By midnight, Bloomberg had a total of 23 delegates. 1,991 delegates are needed to win the Democratic nomination. But at a rally in West Palm Beach, Fla. Tuesday night, he vowed to press on.
“No matter how many delegates we win tonight, we have done more than anyone has thought was possible,” Bloomberg told a crowd of more than 1,500 supporters in Florida. “In three months, we went from less than one percent to being a contender for the Democratic nomination for president!”
“All across America, I’ve been talking with voters and my message is simple,” he continued. “I am running to beat Donald Trump.”
Bloomberg joked to the crowd that he knows “you’re not used to seeing a New Yorker in Southern Florida in the middle of winter…but unlike the president, I didn’t come here to golf.”
He declared: “I came here because winning in November starts with Florida and if I’m the nominee, let me make you this promise, we will beat Trump here in Florida and in swing states across the country.
“This is a campaign for change, a campaign for sanity, for honesty, a campaign for inclusion…and a campaign for human decency,” he continued. “And this is a campaign to bring our country back together and put the ‘united’ back in the United States of America.”
He added: "Our plans are sensible, workable and achievable and we have the record and the resources to defeat Trump in swing states the Democrats lost in 2016, like Florida."
Tuesday was Bloomberg’s first primary showing, having joined the presidential race late in November 2019, and skipping the early nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Bloomberg had been focused on big, delegate-rich Super Tuesday states.
Bloomberg has spent $500 million of his own money on ads.
On Tuesday, Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey touted the campaign's work to build "a nationwide coalition focused on building a better future for America" in just 100 days.
"Tonight, only one-third of delegates will be allotted. As Mike said tonight, 'No matter how many delegates we win tonight, we have done something no one else thought was possible. In just three months, we've gone from just 1% in the polls to being a contender for the Democratic nomination,'" Sheekey said in a statement. "Our number one priority remains defeating Donald Trump in November."
Sheeky, before Bloomberg took the stage Tuesday night, was asked whether the campaign would make an "assessment" whether or not to stay in the race.
"Well, I think you make an assessment in any campaign like this," he said. "After every time there is a vote, we have not had a vote yet. So we have not had to assess. But you would assess after tonight. You would assess after next Tuesday and you would assess every time you've had a vote."
Bloomberg acknowledged earlier in the day Tuesday that the possibility of a contested convention at the Democratic convention in July is his only pathway to becoming the nominee, admitting, “I don’t think I can win any other way.”
Bloomberg told reporters on Tuesday morning that he had “no expectations” on how he’d perform, despite record investments in ads and staff from his own bank account.
“I have no expectations for today. We will have a decent number of delegates," he said. "We've been working at this for 10 weeks."
When asked whether he would drop out after Tuesday’s contests, he quipped: “I have no intention of dropping out. We're in it to win it. I don't understand why you would not ask other candidates that.”
Until last week, much of Bloomberg's campaign’s advertising was directed toward attacking President Trump and touting his own record as the former mayor of New York City. But the campaign has shifted course, ahead of last week’s Democratic debate, and launched a massive media campaign against rival candidate Bernie Sanders, which included opposition research, surrogates, and advertisements across multiple platforms.
But Bloomberg shifted back to Trump on Tuesday night, slamming the president for his use of Twitter, where the two New Yorkers have traded barbs and lobbed personal insults at one another.
"While Trump tweets, I follow facts, respect data and tell the truth," Bloomberg said. "I believe we need less talk, less partisanship, and less division."
He added: "And less tweeting--in fact, how about no tweeting from the Oval Office ever again?"
Meanwhile, Trump tweets regularly, sometimes about Bloomberg, who he has given the nickname of "Mini Mike" to mock the former mayor's height.
On Tuesday, Trump tweeted: "The biggest loser tonight, by far, is Mini Mike Bloomberg. His “political” consultants took him for a ride. $700 million washed down the drain, and he got nothing for it but the nickname Mini Mike, and the complete destruction of his reputation. Way to go Mike!"
Fox News' Paul Steinhauser and Kelly Phares contributed to this report.