Front runner Joe Biden put a brave face Friday on the prospect of billionaire Michael Bloomberg joining the Democratic race to topple Donald Trump.
Biden said he wasn’t worried the billionaire businessman would siphon off his centrist voters.
Bloomberg, the 77-year-old former three-term mayor of New York, was positioning himself to join the 2020 White House contest by filing the paperwork Friday needed to get him on the Democratic primary ballot in the state of Alabama.
Biden, who will also turn 77 on November 20, has been the frontrunner so far, placing himself in the political centre with South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren run to his left.
Political analysts said a Bloomberg candidacy might cut into Biden’s centrist support but Barack Obama’s two-term vice president dismissed any such concerns.
“Michael’s a solid guy,” Biden told reporters in Concord, New Hampshire, while registering to take part in the February primary in the northeastern state.
“I have no, no problem with him getting in the race,” Biden said. “And in terms of he’s running because of me, last polls I looked at I’m pretty far ahead.
“If I’m not mistaken I’m doing pretty well, both relative to Trump and relative to all the people running,” he said.
Jason Mollica of American University said the entry of Bloomberg in the race could be “an indication that he believes the Democrats do not have a strong candidate that can defeat President Trump.