In a fiery debate in Las Vegas between the Presidential candidates of the Democratic Party, billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg came under heavy attack from all sides.
It’s been more than 10 years since Bloomberg has participated in any kind of political debate and in this debate he dove headfirst into the deep end of the pool.
The field of candidates for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination has been shrinking for months, but on Wednesday night in Nevada, the debate stage had one significant new arrival.
Though Bloomberg is not competing Nevada, he has surged in recent polls that qualified him for his first debate of the 2020 Democratic primary. And he spent a lot of time on defense, taking hits from everyone on stage throughout the night.
For the first time since he launched his unconventional campaign in November, the former New York mayor directly faced off against his opponents.
Bernie Sanders wasted no time highlighting the mayor’s support of a stop-and-frisk New York City police policy that was heavily criticised by civil rights activists.
Elizabeth Warren brought up derogatory comments Bloomberg is reported to have made about women and the private agreements he has made to settle sexual harassment and hostile workplace lawsuits.
Amy Klobuchar accused him of hiding behind his TV adverts, while Joe Biden highlighted his past criticism of Barack Obama’s healthcare reform.
Meanwhile, Pete Buttigieg used one answer to go after both Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders, who it should not be forgotten is leading the national polls at the moment.
He warned that if Sanders and Bloomberg are the only candidates left standing after the next few rounds of voting, Democrats will be left with two polarising figures – “a socialist who thinks that capitalism is the root of all evil and a billionaire who thinks money is 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 this party out,” he added.
All of Bloomberg’s opponents had their attack lines rehearsed and ready to launch, and Bloomberg at times appeared to struggle to keep up.