Last night's Democratic presidential candidates debate at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel lived up to its hype. The New York Post summed it up best...
The billionaire’s self-bankrolled presidential bid was torn to shreds in the opening minutes of Wednesday’s Democratic debate as his opponents skewered him for his checkered past on sexual harassment and his record on stop-and-frisk.
While there was no clear winners - though Mayor Pete Buttigieg perhaps came out the least 'scathed', there was a clear loser... billionaire Mike Bloomberg who saw his odds collapse in real-time (albeit rescued by a miraculous intra-debate bid)...
But by the end, Bernie had extended his lead and Bloomberg was relegated back to an also-ran...
Right out of the gate, Bloomberg was under attack with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren landed perhaps the biggest (and first punch), making the former Big Apple mayor visibly squirm and roll his eyes in frustration.
“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against, a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians,’” she said from the Paris Theater.
“And, no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”
It didn't stop there as former Vice President Joe Biden attacked Bloomberg for “throwing close to 5 million young black men up against a wall” while mayor of New York City and said he only stopped after President Barack Obama intervened in his stop-and-frisk policy.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar accused Bloomberg of “hiding behind his TV ads.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden hammered him for opposing Obamacare.
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg called him “a billionaire who thinks that money ought to be the root of all power.”
Warren also attacked him over his record of sexist comments and challenged him to release women from nondisclosure agreements with his company, Bloomberg LP, so they could openly discuss any claims of sexual harassment.
Bloomberg: "We have a very few nondisclosure agreements."
Warren: "How many is that?"
Bloomberg: "Let me finish. None of them accuse me of doing anything other than, maybe they didn't like a joke I told."
His response provoked a groan from the audience.
This is not just a question of Mike Bloomberg’s character—it’s a question about electability. We’re not going to beat Donald Trump with a man who silences women with who knows how many nondisclosure agreements. #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/ozPFghxU8s— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 20, 2020
But, Warren's attack made some sense, as The Epoch Times' Roger Simon noted, for all his attacks on Donald Trump, Bloomberg has more in common with Trump than anyone on the stage, certainly miles more in common with the president than he does with Sanders, his primary Democratic adversary at this point.
Sanders midway through took umbrage at Bloomberg for implying Bernie was a communist or, perish the thought, that socialism often leads to the totalitarian curse of communism.
“Let’s talk about Democratic Socialism. Not communism, Mr. Bloomberg. That’s a cheap shot. Let’s talk about what goes on in countries like Denmark, where Pete correctly pointed out; they have a much higher quality of life …We have socialism for the very rich. Rugged individualism for the poor,” Sanders stated, ripping into Bloomberg.
Sanders called it a “cheap shot.” It wasn’t. It was the truth.
But, after all is said and done President trump was probably the biggest gainer overall, gleefully mocking the Bloomberg as "stumbling, bumbling and grossly incompetent" in an early tweet:
"Mini Mike Bloomberg’s debate performance tonight was perhaps the worst in the history of debates, and there have been some really bad ones. He was stumbling, bumbling and grossly incompetent."
"If this doesn’t knock him out of the race, nothing will. Not so easy to do what I did!"
Billionaire activist Tom Steyer, a Democratic White House hopeful who did not qualify for the debate in Nevada, offered a surprising assessment Thursday of the winner: President Trump.
“Well, I saw the person who won the debate last night whose name is Donald Trump," Steyer said.
"I saw so much bickering between Democratic candidates tearing each other down and going after each other and forgetting the fact that what really counts is beating Donald Trump in November of 2020. I saw people going after each other’s personality and records instead of remembering in fact the Democratic Party needs to win in November.”
Overall, as Robert Wenzel concludes, there was little in terms of substance. It was all about candidates sparring over details of various interventionist programs.
Perhaps it became most absurd when the six statists debated the so-called differences between socialism, communism and capitalism--as if they knew.
Bloomberg did not take it all lying down and some sense of rationality kicked in amid the hubbub...
"I can't think of any way to get Americans to reelect Donald Trump than for them to listen to this conversation! This is absurd!"
That's the most honest thing anyone said last night.
It would appear the bookies agree.