Former New York City mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is considering having former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as his running mate, according to the Drudge Report.
The influential conservative news aggregator cited sources close to Bloomberg’s campaign. Bloomberg’s name has not yet appeared on the ballot in the early voting states but the billionaire’s television ads have blanketed the airwaves.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s Democrat rivals have taken aim at him.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who lagged in the first two nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, targeted Bloomberg over past policing tactics in the largest U.S. city and his comments about a mortgage practice widely seen as racially discriminatory.
Bloomberg, who is self-financing his campaign, has come under fire for comments he made in 2008 that tied a collapse in the U.S. housing market to a ban on redlining, in which banks decline to make mortgage loans to entire neighborhoods.
“Once you started pushing in that direction, banks started making more and more loans where the credit of the person buying the house wasn’t as good as you would like,” Bloomberg said in remarks that resurfaced in a report by the Associated Press.
“We need to confront the shameful legacy of discrimination, not lie about it like Mike Bloomberg has done,” Warren wrote on Twitter.
Biden told ABC’s “The View” he would challenge Bloomberg on the matter and on Bloomberg‘s past support for a policing strategy known as “stop and frisk” that ensnared disproportionate numbers of blacks and Latinos during Bloomberg‘s mayoral tenure.
Bloomberg has not yet qualified for next Wednesday’s Democratic debate in Nevada. He is not competing in Nevada or South Carolina, which votes on Feb. 29.
The Bloomberg campaign declined to comment on Biden’s and Warren’s statements. Bloomberg apologized for stop and frisk in November a few days before announcing his candidacy.
Bloomberg on Thursday drew crowds of hundreds in North Carolina, one of the states that vote on Super Tuesday, where he will first appear as a declared candidate.
At a coffee shop in Winston-Salem, Bloomberg said he was not afraid of Trump.
“I am a New Yorker. I know how to deal with New York bullies,” he said.
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Trump on Thursday lobbed a fresh series of insults at Bloomberg, calling him a “loser” on Twitter.
Bloomberg‘s personal fortune is estimated at about $60 billion.
Several voters in the crowd in Winston-Salem said they wanted a moderate candidate who could beat Trump in November.
Some said they were looking for an alternative to Biden after becoming concerned by his debate performances and weak showings in the first two voting states.
Cassaundra El-Amin, a black voter, said she was concerned about Bloomberg‘s stop-and-frisk policy but felt his apology was sincere.
“I just feel like he might be able to beat Trump,” she said.
(Reuters contributed to this report.)