Michael Bloomberg responded to criticism that he's trying to buy the presidency by saying his wealth insulates him from being bought. Speaking of his Democratic opponents, the billionaire said, "I'm doing exactly the same thing they're doing, except that I am using my own money," the New York Times reports. "They're using somebody else’s money, and those other people expect something from them." Bloomberg made the comments on CBS This Morning when asked about rivals' comments. The former mayor of New York entered the race late and spent $30 million on advertising in one week. Billionaires in general had already received a rough reception in the campaign from Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who have proposed raising taxes on them.
Bloomberg said he has "the same rights as anybody else" to run for president, per CNBC. His wealth was earned, not inherited, he said. "Nobody gave me a head start." He said he gives most of his income away. Of opponents who criticize his wealth, estimated by Forbes at $55 billion, Bloomberg said, "They had a chance to go out and make a lot of money." If he doesn't have wealth in common with the rest of the Democratic field, Bloomberg conceded that the candidates probably share another trait. "Yeah, I guess it takes an ego to think that you could do the job," he said. (Read more Michael Bloomberg 2020 stories.)