Key Words: Warren rips Bloomberg: ‘I don’t believe that elections ought to be for sale’

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren continued her feud with billionaire and fellow Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday, accusing him of trying to buy the presidential nomination. To add insult to injury, she said it on his own TV network.

In an interview Wednesday with Bloomberg Television, the Massachusetts senator said the former New York City mayor — and late entry to the Democratic primary field — is trying to buy the election through tens of millions of his own dollars in campaign ads.

“I don’t believe that elections ought to be for sale.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

“I don’t think as a Democratic Party that we should say that the only way you’re going to get elected, the only way you’re going to be our nominee, is either if you are a billionaire or if you’re sucking up to billionaires,” Warren said.

“If that’s the case, buckle your seatbelts, because that means the government is just going to work better and better for billionaires.”

Bloomberg, who joined the crowded Democratic race in late November, has already reportedly spent more than $57 million in TV ads, in a little more than a week as a candidate.

Warren also rolled out a new ad targeting Bloomberg that the network aired before her interview, in which she says: “It’s a lot cheaper to spend a few hundred mil just buying the presidency instead of paying the two-cent wealth tax” over images of Bloomberg and another of her more vocal critics, hedge-fund manager Leon Cooperman.

Warren has made a tax on the ultra-rich a key campaign issue, and has needled Bloomberg about his $52 billion fortune. Warren’s campaign launched a wealth-tax calculator last month, which said Bloomberg would pay $3.079 billion next year in taxes under her plan. “Good news — you’ll still be extraordinarily rich!” the site said.

Warren has brushed off criticism that her plans are socialist, and said Wednesday that “We’ve got a country that is working great for those at the top. An economy that’s working great for those at the top. . . .it’s just not working for much of anyone else.”

“I believe in capitalism,” she said. “But markets without rules are theft.”