On Wednesday, February 19, the major Democratic candidates for president took to the stage for a savage debate in Las Vegas. Their primary target was not Trump but Mike Bloomberg, the Democratic hopeful who has been surging in the polls despite controversy.
Senator Elizabeth Warren hammered Bloomberg throughout the former New York Mayor’s first debate. She pulled no punches, referring to him as an “arrogant billionaire” (lumping Bloomberg in with Trump) and reminding viewers of his history of using insulting and degrading language toward women.
Bernie Sanders also had some choice words for Bloomberg on the topic of “stop and frisk,” the wildly unpopular program he instituted in New York City that relied on racial profiling.
Bloomberg fumbled his answers or avoided them altogether, especially when it came time to talk about his company’s history of making women who worked for him sign non-disclosure agreements in exchange for monetary settlements.
Senator Bernie Sanders has emerged as the front runner in the Democrats’ race to the White House. He benefited from Bloomberg’s presence–not just because everyone else was focused on the billionaire candidate, but because it gave Sanders a living, breathing example of wealth inequality.
“Mike Bloomberg owns more wealth than the bottom 125 million Americans,” Sanders said. “That’s wrong, that’s immoral, that should not be the case when we got a half a million people sleeping out on the streets, when we kids who cannot afford to go to college, when we have 45 million people dealing with student debt.”
Senator Warren has struggled in the recent primaries–and in the media, where the narrative has focused on the male candidates. She was relentless in her pursuit of Bloomberg, displaying a tenacity that could serve her well if she manages to earn the nomination.
She also targeted her other opponents on healthcare, an important topic to most voters.