Sanders and Warren Waste No Time Going After Bloomberg at Nevada Democratic Debate

Wednesday was former NYC mayor’s first appearance at a primary debate

Last Updated: February 19, 2020 @ 8:45 PM

The candidates at Wednesday evening’s Democratic presidential debate ahead of the Nevada primary wasted no time going in hard on Mike Bloomberg, with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren delivering particularly stinging rebukes of the former New York City mayor.

At the start of the debate, the candidates were asked to explain why they were the one to beat Donald Trump in November instead of Bloomberg, who has positioned himself as a “centrist” who could win come November.

First-to-respond Sanders meanwhile criticized Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk policy during his tenure as New York City’s mayor, which he noted “went after African American and Latino people in an outrageous way. That is not a way you’re going to grow voter turnout. What our movement is about is bringing working-class people together. Black and white and Latino, Native American, Asian American, around an agenda that works for all of us and not just the billionaire class.” Sanders also pitched universal health care, a minimum wage increase, and fighting climate change as reasons.

Blomberg replied by accusing Sanders of plotting to take away “the plan that they love” from “160 million people,” and argued that this is in part why, in his view, Sanders would lose to Trump.

Responding immediately to this, Warren was blunt, calling attention to the history of numerous, and well-documented accusations of sexist and profane comments made by Bloomberg in front of his employees. “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 then implied commonalities with Trump. “Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee with a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, of supporting racist policies like redlining, and stop and frisk,” she said.

While she said she would support whoever ends up being the nominee, Warren added “Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.”

Wednesday’s debate, hosted by NBC and MSNBC, took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joining Warren, Sanders, and Bloomberg on stage were Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar.

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