- Michael Bloomberg made his first debate appearance this campaign season in Nevada, joining the other remaining leading nominees for the 2020 Democratic nomination: Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden.
- NBC anchor Lester Holt introduced Bloomberg as “a former Republican who spent millions of his own dollars to run in this race,” and the other nominees soon began launching their own digs at the former mayor of New York City.
- Bloomberg took heat from all sides, especially from Elizabeth Warren, who was standing next to him on the debate stage. Within minutes, Warren slammed the reported remarks that he “calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians,” while Buttigieg said Bloomberg “thinks that money ought to be the root of all power.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made his first debate appearance as a Democrat in Las Vegas, and he didn’t get a polite reception from the other members of his (new) party.
In fact, he got roasted, as his fellow nominees took turns pummelling him over his record as New York City mayor, when he presided over a massive surge in the racially discriminatory “stop-and-frisk policy,” and his reported history of sexist and insensitive comments.
With an estimated net worth of $US62 billion, Bloomberg has been personally funding his campaign since November 2019, and hehas already spent well over $US300 million on advertising across radio, TV, and digital platforms.
The progressive Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders wasted no time in taking shots at Bloomberg’s history as a former Republican and status as a billionaire New York businessman-turned-politician. But the centrists Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, and Pete Buttigieg got in on the act, too. Pretty much nobody held back. Here are the best burns.
Biden attacked Bloomberg’s experience as mayor of New York, saying, “He didn’t get a whole lot done. He had stop-and-frisk, throwing close to 5 million young black men up against a wall.”
Bloomberg acknowledged that he was “embarrassed” about what happened with stop-and-frisk, saying “it got out of control.”
Klobuchar continued the attacks, saying, “I don’t think you look at Donald Trump and say we need someone richer in the White House,” commenting that Bloomberg “shouldn’t be hiding behind his TV ads.”
Mayor Pete called Bloomberg “a billionaire who thinks that money ought to be the root of all power.” He paralleled Bloomberg with President Trump, saying, “We shouldn’t have to choose between one candidate who wants to burn this party down and another candidate who wants to buy this party out.” He added that voters should “put forward somebody who’s actually a Democrat.”
Warren took the biggest swing, shortly after the debate started, saying, “I’d like to talk about who we’re running against. A billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians. And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”
Warren continued throughout the night to call out Bloomberg over his former female employees’ claims that they had faced a hostile work environment at his company, Bloomberg LP.
Bloomberg countered, but Warren didn’t hold back
Bloomberg offered the defences that “70% of people who work at my company are women” and “they get paid exactly the same as the men.”
Warren continued to light into Bloomberg: “I hope you’ve heard what his defence was, ‘I’ve been nice to some women.’ That just doesn’t cut it.”
Warren persisted, “We are not going to beat Donald Trump with a man who has who knows how many nondisclosure agreements and the drip, drip, drip of stories of women saying they have been harassed and discriminated against. That’s not what we do as Democrats.”