No, Mike Bloomberg did not spend so much money on his failed presidential campaign that he could've given every American $1 million instead
- A clip of two reporters repeating a false claim that Bloomberg could have given every American $1 million for the amount he spent on his failed presidential campaign has gone viral on Twitter.
- If Bloomberg did divide his $500 million campaign budget between every American, each person would get less than $2.
- Bloomberg did spend big on his presidential bid, getting iPhone 11s and Manhattan apartments for staff and treating supporters to catered meals and free T-shirts.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Mike Bloomberg spent over $500 million during his short-lived campaign to become the Democratic nominee for president. And while that's a lot of money, it's nowhere near enough to every American a millionaire.
Two reporters claimed otherwise on MSNBC in a clip that has gone viral on Twitter. "It's an incredible way of putting it," New York Times Editorial Board Member Mara Gay tells MSNBC's Brian Williams in the clip. "It's true, it's disturbing, it does suggest, you know, what we're talking about here, that's there's too much money in politics."
The reporters were repeating a March 3 tweet from freelance journalist Mekita Rivas. "Bloomberg spent $500 million on ads," Rivas tweeted. "The U.S. population is 327 million. He could have given each American $1 million and still have money left over. I feel like a $1 million check would be life-changing for most people. Yet he wasted it all on ads and STILL LOST." Rivas has since set her Twitter account to private; her still viewable Twitter bio currently reads "I know, I'm bad at math."
"Don't still us if you're ahead of us on the math," Williams says while reading the tweet.
Williams' show later issued a statement acknowledging the error:
Gay, meanwhile, tweeted "Buying a calculator, brb" in response to the viral moment.
At the time of publication, the Census Bureau estimates that there are 329,363,945 people living in the United States. If Bloomberg did divide his $500 million campaign budget between every American, each person would get less than $2.
It would take $329,363,828,000,000 (over $329 trillion) to give them all $1 million. Even if Bloomberg sold his financial media company and spent every penny to his name, he still wouldn't have enough money. Neither would Jeff Bezos, the richest person on Earth. The pair still couldn't make every American a millionaire if they gave away their combined fortunes.
That's not to say that Bloomberg didn't spend big on his 2020 bid, however. Bloomberg spent $500 million of his own money, including a quarter of a billion dollars running ads in Super Tuesday states, only to get trounced by frontrunners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Bloomberg's only outright win was the American Samoa, whose total GDP is only slightly greater than Bloomberg's ad spending.
Bloomberg also treated his employees to work perks that rival those at Google, including salaries nearly double those at other campaigns, free meals, booze, iPhone 11s, and furnished apartments on Manhattan's Upper East Side, Business Insider reported. Supporters at rallies dined on catered food and were given free t-shirts.
Bloomberg is the richest person in American history to run for president, and his campaign costs didn't even make a dent in his $58.4 billion fortune.
This is the saddest clip in TV history.pic.twitter.com/ruIFoAckom- Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) March 6, 2020
Tonight on the air we quoted a tweet that relied on bad math. We corrected the error after the next commercial break and have removed it from later editions of tonight's program. We apologize for the error.- 11th Hour (@11thHour) March 6, 2020
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