Three members of the House of Representatives announced their support for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg the morning after a fiery primary debate in Nevada.
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said she’s endorsing Bloomberg, 78, for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“Mike and I have worked together for years in New York, and whether it’s homeland security or gun safety, there’s no one you can depend on more to get important initiatives over the finish line,” Lowey said in a statement released by Bloomberg’s campaign.
“We need someone in the White House who will help secure a bright future for our children and families, free of gun violence, with opportunity for educational success and good jobs, and with access to affordable health care and prescription drugs. That person is Mike Bloomberg, and there’s no doubt about it, no matter how big the challenge, Mike will get it done.”
Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) also announced endorsements for the billionaire.
Aguilar, who Bloomberg said would serve as a co-chair for his campaign, cited Bloomberg’s efforts to restrict gun ownership and combat climate change in his statement of support. Gottheimer, co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, called the former mayor “an experienced, proven leader who has big ideas, will fight to get things done, and knows how to work with—and get votes from—Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.”
The last member of Congress to announce an endorsement before Thursday was Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas), who said she was endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden, 77. Biden has 42 congressional endorsements, the most in the field, but Bloomberg is in second with 16.
The new endorsements came after Bloomberg appeared on the debate stage for the first time. The appearance was made possible by the Democratic National Committee, which axed half of the debate qualification requirements. Bloomberg faced attacks by all five rivals on stage, primarily over his massive fortune and past comments he’s made to and about women.
Tom Steyer, a presidential candidate who didn’t qualify for the debate, said during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday that Bloomberg “sounded like he was running in the wrong primary last night.”
Steyer, 62, targeted Bloomberg’s criticism of Medicare for All, socialism, and a wealth tax. “I think that people who’ve been as successful as Mike Bloomberg or me should understand that the Democratic Party stands for the idea that the inequality in this country is unacceptable,” Steyer argued.
While others also panned the former mayor’s performance, Bloomberg’s campaign said he did well.
“You know you are a winner when you are drawing attacks from all the candidates. Everyone came to destroy Mike tonight. It didn’t happen. Everyone wanted him to lose his cool. He didn’t do it. He was the grownup in the room,” campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said in a statement.
Bloomberg, he said, “presented himself as the leading alternative to Bernie Sanders.”