Tuesday night's debate in Charleston, S.C. devolved into bitter attacks between Democratic rivals vying for the chance to take on President Trump in November.
Here are some key takeaways:
Sanders must be stopped!
Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is clearly the man to beat - taking flack from all sides as he occupied the center spot on stage, according to The Hill.
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg kicked off the attacks against Sanders on Tuesday night, warning in the opening minutes of the debate that Russia wants Sanders to be the nominee because he’ll lose to President Trump.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) followed by arguing that Sanders would not be able to implement his progressive agenda because he’s too divisive.
Former Vice President Joe Biden blamed Sanders’s votes against gun control legislation for several mass shootings.
And former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg blasted Sanders for his “nostalgia for revolutionary politics of the 1960s” — a reference to his praise of Fidel Castro’s communist regime in Cuba. -The Hill
"I’m hearing my name mentioned a little bit tonight," joked Sanders. "I wonder why."
Mike Bloomberg's attack on Sanders began earlier in the week in this bizarre interview senior advisor Tim O'Brien gave to CNN.
Democrats aren’t used to the degree to which Democrats will go to destroy others for power and money, especially when they are the victims. Here’s a Bloomberg guy gutting Sanders. Astonishing tactics. They are savages. pic.twitter.com/oEAcPRtdqT— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) February 25, 2020
Warren wants to tomahawk Bloomberg
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) went after Bloomberg donning full war paint - criticizing him over his past comments on abortion ("Kill it"), as well as past remarks for blaming racial minorities for the 2008 financial collapse, and his issue of nondisclosure agreements with several women who accused him of inappropriate behavior over the years.
"I don’t care how much money he has, the core of the Democratic Party will never trust him," said Warren. "He’s the riskiest candidate standing on this stage."
Elizabeth Warren re-tells the story of how in 20s, she was fired from her job for being visibly pregnant.— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 26, 2020
She then says to Bloomberg "At least I didn’t have a boss who said to me, 'kill it.'" pic.twitter.com/KYKl5hJtU1
Biden did well
Despite Biden declaring he's a candidate for US Senate earlier in the week, The Hill's Niall Stange writes notes that the former Vice President did surprisingly well on Tuesday night.
Elsewhere, Biden sought to shore up his support from black voters, reiterating that he had worked on issues of racial and economic justice for “years and years.”
Above all, Biden sought to portray himself as someone with the political and strategic chops to get things done rather than merely talk about aspirations.
The former vice president’s tone and demeanor were, if anything, more important than his words.
This was a far sharper, more vigorous Biden than in other debates.
He needed a good night, and had one of his best. -The Hill
The biggest losers? Bloomberg, Steyer and CBS News according to Stange. Bloomberg's appearance "wasn't a disaster. But it wasn't good," while Steyer has struggled to explain "any rationale for his candidacy."
CBS News, meanwhile, took flack for failing to mention climate change, a hot-button topic among the left, and allowing candidates to cross-talk each other without stepping in.
Not a single climate change question. Horrifying.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 26, 2020