Michael Bloomberg was rated among the losers after he became a new target of attack from his Democratic rivals in their ninth presidential debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, Feb. 19.
Some news media outlets, including The Hill, Vox, New York Post, called Bloomberg a “loser” as the former New York City mayor showed weakness in defending himself at his first debate appearance. But Bloomberg argued that those politicians were only good at talking, and “went on about what they could and should do,” while he is the man that has “created actual change” and “gotten it done.”
“Tonight, I stood on a stage with a group of politicians. They talked, because that’s what they’re good at. They went on and on about what they could and should do,” Bloomberg wrote in a tweet after the debate.
“I have built. I have created actual change. I have gotten it done. That’s what I’ll do for America,” he continued.
Tonight, I stood on a stage with a group of politicians.
They talked, because that’s what they’re good at.
They went on and on about what they could and should do.
I have built. I have created actual change. I have gotten it done.
That’s what I’ll do for America. #DemDebate
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 20, 2020
During the debate, Bloomberg was besieged by the attacks from all five other opponents.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) crashed Bloomberg over allegations of mistreating women employees at his company and racially biased policing strategies.
“Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop-and-frisk,” Warren said of Bloomberg.
The Massachusetts senator called on Bloomberg to release women who sued his company for nondisclosure agreements.
“I hope you heard what his defense was: I’ve been nice to some women. That just doesn’t cut it. The mayor has to stand on his record and what we need to know is what’s lurking out there.”
“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,” Warren said.
Bloomberg was ineffectual in defending himself at the way Warren attacked him.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—the avowed socialist, targeted Bloomberg’s multimillion-dollar campaign after he has been spending massive amounts of money on TV ads to qualify for his first presidential debate.
“We are giving a voice to people who would say we are sick and tired of billionaires, like Mr. Bloomberg, seeing huge expansions of their wealth, while a half a million people sleep out on the street tonight… Maybe it’s time for the working class in this country to get a little bit of power in Washington, rather than your billionaire campaign.”
Sanders later said, “Maybe we can talk about a billionaire saying that we should not raise the minimum wage, or that we should cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. If that’s a way to beat Donald Trump, wow, I would be very surprised.”
Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, went after both Bloomberg and Sanders, saying, “Most Americans don’t see where they fit if they have to choose between a socialist who thinks money is the root of all evil and a billionaire who thinks that money ought to be the root of all power.”
“We shouldn’t have to choose between one candidate who wants to burn this party down and another candidate who wants to buy his party out. We can do better,” Buttigieg said, after touting that he is “actually a Democrat.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden grilled Bloomberg over his poor governance of New York City when he was the mayor.
“The fact of the matter is he did not manage his city very well when he was there. He didn’t get a whole lot done. He had stop-and-frisk—throwing close to 5 million young black men up against the wall—and when we came along in our administration, President Obama and I said we’re going to send a mediator to stop it, he said that’s unnecessary,” Biden said. “Let’s get the facts straight. Let’s get the order straight. It’s not whether you apologize or not, it’s the policy. The policy was abhorrent. And it was in fact a violation of every right people have.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was also mocking Bloomberg, saying, “He shouldn’t be hiding behind his TV ads.”
Responding to his rivals, Bloomberg argued that he is spending massive amounts of money on his campaign “to get rid of Donald Trump—the worst president,” and if he could get that done, it would be a great contribution to America and to his children.
Bloomberg denied mistreating women employees, saying he has “very few nondisclosure agreements. None of them accuse me of anything.”
Bloomberg criticized some of his opponents for advocating higher taxes on corporations and forcing unions onto boards.
“I can’t think of a better way that would make it easier for Donald Trump to get re-elected than listening to this conversation. We’re not gonna throw out capitalism. We tried that, other countries tried that, it was called communism and it just didn’t work,” the former mayor said.
The Hill described Bloomberg’s debate as “a strikingly poor performance,” while Vox said, “Mike Bloomberg is a disaster.”
Includes reporting from Reuters