“We will not create the energy and excitement we need to defeat Donald Trump if that candidate pursued, advocated for and enacted racist policies like stop and frisk which caused communities of color in his city to live in fear,” Sanders said Saturday during a Clark County, Nevada, dinner. “The simple truth is that Mayor Bloomberg with all his money will not create the kind of excitement and energy we need to have the voter turnout we must have to defeat Donald Trump,” Sanders said.
The comments from the Vermont senator, who topped the Democratic primary race in a recent national poll, come roughly a week out from the Nevada caucuses, Democrats’ third nominating contest. Bloomberg, who had so far intentionally kept the party’s contest at arm’s length, is now rising in the polls. The former mayor has spent millions on ads in Super Tuesday primary states, but has not yet appeared on the Democratic debate stage or on a primary ballot. Sanders has previously targeted him for his wealth.
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Bloomberg is again defending himself over the controversial stop and frisk policing policy in New York after an audio clip of a 2015 speech came to light last week in which the former mayor argued one way to reduce violence was to throw minority kids “up against the walls and frisk them.”
Bloomberg has been repeatedly criticized over the controversial police practice of temporarily detaining, questioning and searching residents who were overwhelmingly black or Latino. Since launching his campaign, he has issued repeated apologies for the policy, most recently Saturday night during a campaign stop in Richmond, Virginia.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll released last week, Sanders is leading the Democratic primary with 25%, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 17%. Bloomberg is at 15%, up considerably from 9% before the Iowa caucuses and 3% when he first entered the race in November.
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