Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has become the latest potential Democratic candidate for president to qualify for the upcoming CNN debate in Las Vegas, the network announced on Monday. CNN will hold the debate on March 15.

The 80-year-old Bloomberg said in a release that he planned to announce his plans for running for president “in the coming weeks.” Bloomberg spent most of his life in the executive ranks of corporations, first as an investment banker, then as CEO of four different media companies, before running for mayor in 2001. In 2003, Bloomberg founded Bloomberg L.P., an investment and media company that contains some of his biggest holdings, and has supported many of the world’s richest men. Bloomberg even made a short-lived bid for president in 2008, but his campaign was quickly crushed by his rivals.

At least one prominent Democrat is up in arms at the Bloomberg endorsement. The leader of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign quickly lashed out on Monday, after the New York Post broke the news that Bloomberg would be joining the fray.

“A billionaire with deep pockets and personal ties to Wall Street will be able to buy his way into the Democratic primary debates,” said Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver in a statement. “This kind of legalized corruption is all too common in American politics and is not what America is all about.”

Prior to formally announcing his plans to run, Bloomberg had a meeting with Democratic leaders over the weekend. According to a statement from his staff, the participants pledged that they would resist any call for campaign finance reform that required, for example, a cap on campaign contributions from individuals. The group, called the “Leaders’ Commission on the Future of American Democracy,” is chaired by former Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., and includes Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Ed Markey, D-Mass.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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