Bloomberg says he will spend $US100m in Florida to help Biden


New York | Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and presidential candidate, said on Sunday (Monday AEST) he plans to spend $US100 million ($137.3 million) in Florida in coming weeks to support Joe Biden's run for the White House.

The pledge came as new polls showed a particularly tight race between Mr Biden and President Donald Trump in Florida, a key battleground state that carries 29 electoral votes.$zoom_0.528%2C$multiply_0.7214%2C$ratio_1.776846%2C$width_1059%2C$x_219%2C$y_6/t_crop_custom/e_sharpen:25%2Cq_42%2Cf_auto/9ef05c2acf97b6a4f998c9844967919f217d5cd9
Bloomberg advisers say he has been waiting to deploy potential future donations when they might be most effective. AP

The announcement also followed criticism from within the Democratic Party – despite a huge $US18 million transfer to the Democratic National Committee this spring – that the billionaire Mr Bloomberg had not delivered on his promise to put the full weight of his fortune behind the general-election effort to defeat Mr Trump.

Allies and advisers to Mr Bloomberg, who has also faced lawsuits from former campaign workers saying he misled them, suggested he had been assessing the landscape and waiting to deploy potential future donations until they might be most effective. Voting begins in Florida with the distribution of absentee ballots on September 24.

The new $US100 million commitment in Florida will be routed through one of Mr Bloomberg's super PACs, Independence USA, as well as other Democratic groups, according to a spokeswoman. The effort was expected to emphasise communications with Hispanic voters, the spokeswoman said.

Mr Bloomberg's appearance at the Democratic National Convention last month reignited criticism from some in the party that he had not given directly to Mr Biden's campaign after spending nearly $US1 billion on his own bid for the nomination. Since dropping out of the race, he has also committed tens of millions to supporting House Democrats.

In response to the news of his latest pledge on Sunday, Mr Trump ridiculed Mr Bloomberg on Twitter, calling his participation in the Democratic primary debates "the most inept debate performance in the history of presidential politics".

"Save NYC instead," the President wrote.

The New York Times