The development came just hours after a resurgent Biden scored Super Tuesday victories from Texas to Massachusetts, revitalizing a presidential bid that was teetering on the edge of disaster just days earlier. Biden and Bloomberg spoke Wednesday morning, according to two people familiar with the situation who were not authorized to disclose private conversations.
Biden’s rival Bernie Sanders seized the biggest prize with a win in California that ensured he — and his embrace of democratic socialism — would drive the Democrats’ nomination fight for the foreseeable future.
Warren, Sanders’ progressive ally, was huddling with advisers on Wednesday to determine if there was a reason to stay in the race after her Super Tuesday wipe-out. She didn’t win a single state and finished in third place, after Biden and Sanders, in her own home state of Massachusetts.
And suddenly, the Democratic Party’s presidential field, which featured more than a half-dozen candidates a week ago, transformed into a two-man contest.
Biden and Sanders, lifelong politicians with starkly different visions for America’s future, were locked in a delegate fight a day after 14 states and one U.S. territory held a series of high-stakes elections that marked the most significant day of voting in the party’s presidential primary.
It could take weeks — or months — for Democrats to pick one of them to take on President Donald Trump in the November general election. But the new contours of the fight between Biden and Sanders crystallized as the former vice president and the three-term Vermont senator spoke to each other from dueling victory speeches delivered from opposite ends of the country Tuesday night.
“People are talking about a revolution. We started a movement,” Biden said in Los Angeles, knocking one of Sanders’ signature lines.
Without citing his surging rival by name, Sanders swiped at Biden from Burlington, Vermont.
“You cannot beat Trump with the same-old, same-old kind of politics,” Sanders declared, ticking down a list of past policy differences with Biden on Social Security, trade and military force. “This will become a contrast in ideas.”
Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to call Biden’s strong Super Tuesday showing “a perfect storm” and amplify his long-running argument that the Democratic Party would move to stop Sanders from winning the nomination.
“The Democrat establishment came together and crushed Bernie Sanders, AGAIN!” Trump tweeted.
Trump also called Warren “selfish” for staying in the race because it “hurts Bernie badly.”
Biden’s victories were powered by Democratic voters who broke his way just days before casting their ballots — a wave of late momentum that scrambled the race in a matter of hours. In some states, the late-deciders made up roughly half of all voters, according to AP VoteCast, surveys of voters in several state primaries. He drew support from a broad coalition of moderates and conservatives, African Americans and voters older than 45.
Sanders’ success proved he could deliver in perhaps the greatest test of his decades-long political career. His success was built on a base of energized liberals, young people and Latinos. But he was unable to sufficiently widen his appeal to older voters and college graduates who make up a sizable share of Democratic voters, according to AP VoteCast.
The balance of Super Tuesday’s battlefield — with Biden winning at least nine states and Sanders four — raised questions about whether the Democratic primary contest would stretch all the way to the July convention or be decided much sooner.
Biden’s strong finish punctuated a dramatic turnaround in the span of just three days when he leveraged a blowout victory in South Carolina to score sweeping victories on Tuesday that transcended geography, class and race. And lest there be any doubt, he cemented his status as the standard-bearer for the Democrats’ establishment wing.
In a statement announcing his departure, Bloomberg vowed to stay engaged in the 2020 election and his ultimate goal to ensure Trump is defeated this fall.
“I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden.”