Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, speaks next to his wife Jill during a primary election night rally Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Latest: Aides say Biden thrilled with Bloomberg support

March 04, 2020 - 1:35 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 presidential election (all times local):

1:35 p.m.

Joe Biden's aides say the Democratic presidential candidate is thrilled to have former rival Mike Bloomberg's support.

Bloomberg ended his own bid Wednesday after a poor showing and endorsed Biden. The former New York mayor has committed to leaving up his massive campaign operation to help Democrats defeat President Donald Trump in 2020. It's not immediately clear if Bloomberg would use his resources and organization to help Biden in his nominating fight against Bernie Sanders.

Biden's deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield says Biden is thrilled that Bloomberg is backing him. But she says conversations about what Bloomberg's endorsement means practically are ongoing.

Federal campaign finance laws would bar direct coordination between the Biden campaign and Bloomberg on a range of spending possibilities should the former mayor essentially want to turn his campaign into a Biden-aligned super PAC.

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1:30 p.m.

Joe Biden's presidential campaign is embracing his renewed status as Democratic front-runner, chiding Bernie Sanders for negative advertising and casting the Vermont senator as dividing the party.

The Biden campaign's national co-chairman, Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, blasted Sanders for his suggestions that the Democratic establishment is colluding against the progressive's White House bid. Richmond said Biden is earning his votes.

"I just did not know that African Americans in the South were considered part of the establishment," Richmond said, noting Biden's overwhelming black support that gave him wide delegate gains in Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia, among other states.

Richmond and Biden spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield alluded to the 2016 campaign, when a nominating fight between Sanders and Hillary Clinton left bitter feelings that hobbled Clinton's general election campaign.

"We’ve seen what kind of campaign Bernie Sanders runs," Bedingfield said, referring to new attack ads Sanders released Wednesday. “We all need to link arms to defeat Donald Trump.”

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Catch up on the 2020 election campaign with AP experts on our weekly politics podcast, “Ground Game.”

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