Former New York City mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Bloomberg appeared alongside Democratic rivals at the Nevada Democratic debate in Las Vegas on February 19.
The debate was the ninth of this primary cycle and the first that Bloomberg qualified for after the Democratic National Commission (DNC) changed the rules that candidates were required to abide by in order to appear on the debate stage.
Bloomberg entered the race in November 2020, as much as a year after some of the other candidates on the Nevada debate stage. He had initially failed to qualify for the debates that took place after he entered the race due to not having demonstrated sufficient grass-roots support in the form of individual donations.
During the debate, Bloomberg received harsh criticism for allegedly buying his way into the Democratic Primary, for policies he’d instituted as New York City mayor that disproportionately targeted young black and Latino men, and for alleged sexist comments he’d made in the past.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was the first to call out Bloomberg’s history of making sexist remarks.
“I’d like to talk about who we are 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,” Warren said.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the current Democratic frontrunner, also took on Bloomberg directly, saying that his own campaign was “giving a voice to people who would say we are sick and tired of billionaires, like Mr. Bloomberg, seeing huge expansions of their wealth, while a half a million people sleep out on the street tonight … Maybe it’s time for the working class in this country to get a little bit of power in Washington, rather than your billionaire campaign.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden added that Bloomberg had spoken out against the record of former US President Barack Obama, who is highly revered among democrats, on the issues of climate, health care, and the economy.