Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders take swipes at billionaire Michael Bloomberg in response to his potential presidential bid

  • The 2020 Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders had something to say about reports that Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, was taking steps to enter the presidential race.
  • Both senators have proposed taxes on the ultra-wealthy in the US, much to the dismay of billionaire philanthropists like Bill Gates and Leon Cooperman.
  • Bloomberg is poised to enter the race and file paperwork this week for the Alabama primary.
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The 2020 Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have proposed new taxes on ultra-wealthy Americans. So it perhaps comes as no surprise that the two senators had responses to reports that Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, was taking steps to enter the presidential race.

Warren welcomed Bloomberg to the 2020 race with a tweet, but the welcome came with an edge as she added a link to her billionaire calculator, which estimates the tax rate of billionaires under her proposed wealth tax.

“If you’re looking for policy plans that will make a huge difference for working people and which are very popular, start here,” the Massachusetts senator wrote in the tweet, linking her billionaire calculator, which she created seemingly as a jab to critics of the tax like Bill Gates and Leon Cooperman.

Bloomberg would be unlikely to have much trouble navigating Warren’s calculator if he were to visit the site. If you answer the first prompted question, “Are you a billionaire?” with “yes,” it asks for your net worth, and there is a link below the response box reading, “If you’re Michael Bloomberg, click here.”

If you click no to the initial question, users are presented a list of billionaires – including Bloomberg – to click and see how much they would be taxed.

The Warren campaign sent out an email following reports that Bloomberg was planning to run, describing him as “one of the first billionaires to attack Elizabeth’s plan for a wealth tax.”

“The wealthy and well connected are scared,” the email said. “They’re scared that under a Warren presidency, they would no longer have a government that caters to their every need. So they’re doing whatever they can to try to stop Elizabeth and our movement from winning in 2020 and bringing big, structural change in 2021.”

Sanders’ response to Bloomberg’s run also came with a dig, but the Vermont senator didn’t directly tag the former New York mayor in the tweet. While Sanders doesn’t have a billionaire calculator like Warren, he has proposed a similar wealth tax on the richest Americans.

“The billionaire class is scared and they should be scared,” Sanders tweeted following reports that Bloomberg was contemplating a run.

Bloomberg is planning to file paperwork this week for the Alabama primary, The New York Times reported. He had said in March that he wasn’t interested in a presidential campaign and instead would redirect his efforts “to help fund Democratic candidates in down-ballot races and give money to causes combatting climate change,” Insider’s Grace Panetta reported.