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Actor Michael Douglas endorses Bloomberg for president

Actor Michael Douglas is backing former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the presidential race. 

Douglas announced his endorsement for the Democratic hopeful Tuesday, calling the late entrant to the 2020 field “one of the greatest candidates in the history of our elections.” 

Douglas told People magazine he “hasn’t been this excited” about a candidate since President John F. Kennedy.

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Douglas said he is “very proud” of the rest of the Democratic field, but worried a candidate too far left could divide the country. 

“I don’t know if we are ready for a dramatic change in policies or if we’re working more just to fix some of the things that are wrong,” Douglas told the magazine. “A little tweaking might be in order and make audiences feel a little more secure before we have anything of a dramatic change taking place.”

The Bloomberg campaign confirmed the endorsement Tuesday morning to The Hill.

The actor also denounced some of the criticism Bloomberg has faced since entering the field late last year, largely centered on the billionaire self-funding his unconventional campaign that will skip the early voting states and focus on the Super Tuesday states. 

“The fact that he doesn’t need people to pay for his campaign means that he doesn’t owe anybody,” Douglas told People. “Do I hope eventually that money in political campaigns will become a thing of the past? Certainly. I think Mike would be one of the first ones to say that.”

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Leading progressive candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have sworn off high-dollar donations to run grassroots campaigns, arguing that’s the way forward to make politicians accountable to voters, not beholden to the wealthiest Americans. 

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) took a swipe at the two billionaires in the race, Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, when she dropped out of the field in December over a lack of resources, noting that she’s “not a billionaire” and “can’t fund” her own campaign. 

Douglas also offered a critique of former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, another primary contender who is ahead of Bloomberg in most polls, while touting Bloomberg’s time as New York City mayor. 

“I feel that all those years as mayor have really helped him with budgets,” Douglas told People. “With all respect to Buttigieg, we’re talking about a city of 12 million people.” 

Despite Bloomberg’s high name recognition, he faces an uphill battle in the primary after entering the field late. A RealClearPolitics average of national polls has him at 7 percent, trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg.

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