DEMOCRATIC presidential candidates got their chance to take shots at billionaire candidate Mike Bloomberg on Wednesday night, as the former New York City mayor took to the debate stage for the first time.
In the days leading up to the debate at the Paris Theater in Las Vegas, Bloomberg's fellow Democrats had taken shots at the billionaire for attempting to buy the nomination.
But on Wednesday night it was open season, with candidates taking aim at his tax records, policies as New York Mayor, Republican past, and his treatment of women.
It was Senator Elizabeth Warren who first attacked the billionaire, drawing comparisons between Bloomberg and President Trump.
She said: "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."
She added: "I'll support whoever the Democratic nominee is. But understand this: Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another."
Warren also said that Democrats would not beat Trump "if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of supporting racist policies like red-lining and stop and frisk."
It was then former Vice President Joe Biden's turn to take a jab, offering a searing rebuke of Bloomberg's police of stop-and-frisk while he was Mayor of New York, which he deemed "abhorrent."
TREATMENT OF WOMEN
Bloomberg said the policy was already in place before he became mayor, but admitted that things went too far and he has since "asked for forgiveness."
In a heated moment, Bloomberg said his company, Bloomberg LP, had "no tolerance for the kind of behavior the Me Too movement has exposed.”
Warren and Biden, however, quickly hit back, questioning the number of women who have worked for Bloomberg and have non-disclosure agreements that mean they cannot talk about alleged harassment and abuse in the workplace.
The pair then urged Bloomberg to release the women form their NDAs – a request the candidate declined.
Warren described the women as "muzzled," but Bloomberg responded by saying, "They decided, when they made an agreement, that they wanted to keep it quiet for everyone’s interest."
Later in the debate, Senator Bernie Sanders took aim at Bloombergs Republican past, having endorsed President George W. Bush in 2004 and giving a large sums of money to Republican causes.
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In the middle of his mayoral tenure, Bloomberg switched to become an independent before, in 2018, stating he was a Democrat and giving money to democratic causes.
Saunders 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, or Medicaid."
The former mayor is not the only billionaire candidate left in the Democratic race – candidate Tom Steyer did not receive high enough polling numbers to appear in Wednesday night's debate.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also remains in the race.
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