by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Let Michael Bloomberg be a reminder that what President Trump did in 2016 is not easy.
It’s easy to imagine Bloomberg, doing laps in a pool of gold coins, thinking to himself, “If Trump could do it, so can I.” Bloomberg, after all, is far richer than Trump and, maybe more importantly, had actual campaign and governing experience in America’s biggest city.
It didn’t take, and not just because Bloomberg gambled that he didn’t need to compete in the first four primary contests. He performed miserably on the debate stage, and he was weak in defending his own positions. All the money in the world couldn’t have saved him, as he nearly proved.
He spent well over half a billion dollars to win a grand total of 12 delegates before dropping out of the race on Wednesday. In contrast, Trump in 2016 spent less than that in total, including all his donors’ money, to win both the Republican primary and the presidency.
In the 2016 general election alone, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton spent nearly $770 million. Trump spent half that and thumped her in the Electoral College.
Recall that when Trump was criticized by every journalist in the national media for accurately describing the crime spilling across the southern border, he didn’t back down because he believed what he was saying. Bloomberg, on the other hand, launched his campaign by apologizing for “stop and frisk,” a policing policy he had defended for close to two decades.
Bloomberg might have learned from Trump, but he didn’t. He thought this would be easy. It wasn’t.