Mike Bloomberg ends 2020 presidential bid

Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ended his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday and announced his endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Bloomberg threw his support behind Biden, who won a majority of the delegates up for grabs Tuesday, when voters in more than a dozen states hit the polls.

Bloomberg won only the territory of American Samoa on Super Tuesday and picked up several dozen delegates elsewhere. Biden, meanwhile, won big in Southern states where Bloomberg had poured tens of millions of dollars.

“I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it,” Bloomberg said in his statement. “After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden.”

Bloomberg, 78, is one of the world’s richest men, worth an estimated $61 billion. His late entrance into the race in November prompted him to skip campaigning in the first four voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. He hung his success on Super Tuesday, spending at least $180 million on advertising in those states.

He proved unable to overcome consistent criticism of New York’s use of the stop-and-frisk police practice under his tenure as mayor, which disproportionately targeted young black and Latino men for searches aimed at finding weapons. He similarly faced pointed criticism — primarily from rival Elizabeth Warren — about the treatment of women at his company, Bloomberg LP, and faced accusations that he was trying to buy the Democratic presidential nomination.

Bloomberg’s exit comes just days after U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, ended her presidential campaign. Four candidates remain in the running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination: Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.