The billionaire was targeted by the Democratic primary field.
Michael Bloomberg was a target for the Democratic Primary field during his first debate stage appearance on Wednesday, being roundly criticized by several of the other five Democratic candidates participating.
The debate, held in Las Vegas days before the Nevada caucuses, differed from previous events on account of the smaller number of candidates.
Bloomberg has skyrocketed to a competitive second place in most polling of the Democratic primary, seeming to siphon most of Joe Biden’s support and staking out a claim as the Democrat to take on Bernie Sanders. The New York billionaire, who has not appeared on the ballot in the first two primary states, is aiming for a string of Super Tuesday victories.
Elizabeth Warren may have landed the most concrete blow of the night on the record-setting campaign spender, calling out Bloomberg for a history of insensitive remarks targeting women. She also went on to question Bloomberg about reports of him forcing women to sign non-disclosure agreements after sexually harassing them.
It’s probably safe to say that Bloomberg was the biggest loser of the night. The debate represented the first opportunity for the billionaire to face criticism from other Democrats, and he generally failed to answer the ire of the primary field with anything too meaningful.
Bloomberg’s biggest moment of the night may have been when he called out Sanders for owning three homes, likening him to the billionaires the democratic socialist frequently criticizes.
Sanders hit Bloomberg on his controversial record of instituting ‘Stop and Frisk’ policing practices as mayor of New York City, claiming that the program was discriminatory against Black and Latino people.
Even Buttigieg, a candidate who is well-funded by billionaire campaign donors, hit Bloomberg for his blatant attempt to buy the Democratic nomination. The somewhat more rancorous tone of the debate made previous walk-in-the-park debates appear to be a snoozefest.
Considering he at least implicitly is the frontrunner for the nomination, it’s probably safe to say Bernie Sanders exited the debate as the de facto winner. Sanders holds a resounding lead in polling for the upcoming Nevada caucuses, and a win coupled with a blow to Bloomberg’s campaign could give him the momentum required for a dominant Super Tuesday performance.