Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday that Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg will be “a force to be reckoned with” in the 2020 race.
“I think he was a good mayor, and I think he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with,” Mr. Graham, South Carolina Republican, said in an interview on “The Morning Briefing” on Sirius XM radio.
“If you’ve got $60 billion, you can tell your own story,” the senator said.
Mr. Graham said, however, that he questions whether the momentum behind Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders, who just won the New Hampshire primary, could transfer to the more moderate Mr. Bloomberg.
“The Democratic Party is trying to find this identity between socialism, liberalism and moderation, and all the energy seems to be with Bernie,” he said. “I just don’t believe the Bernie voter would accept a Bloomberg candidacy.”
The senator said that Mr. Bloomberg could still “do some damage” to President Trump even if he doesn’t win the nomination, but he doesn’t think that’s the reason the former New York City mayor entered the race.
“I don’t think he is in it just to hurt Trump,” he said. “I think he’s in it to win it, and come Super Tuesday if he’s already in the low teens polling nationally if he can grab some delegates on Super Tuesday, this is probably a brokered convention and he is going to be the guy to fill the Biden lane in his own mind.”
Mr. Bloomberg, who is self-funding his campaign, has not participated in the first four primary states and has focused primarily on a Super Tuesday strategy, campaigning in about 14 states that will vote for a Democratic nominee on March 3.
The former mayor is polling at 14.2% just behind former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, according to the RealClearPolitics national average.
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