Bloomberg was the object of scorn, ridicule and contempt. And that was just in the first five minutes of the debate.
With all candidates flashing heat, a measure of the urgency they feel to survive in what is becoming an increasingly bitter nomination fight, the attacks focused on Bloomberg were a clear measure of his perceived strength. He has spent more than $400 million so far on advertising that in turn has given him strong standing in state and national polls.
Sen. Bernie Sanders recalled Bloomberg’s support of stop-and-frisk policing targeting minorities. Sen. Elizabeth Warren recalled how Bloomberg had mocked women for being “horse-faced” and “fat” and compared him to Trump. Sen. Amy Klobuchar quipped that “I don’t think you look at Donald Trump and say I think we need someone richer in the White House.” Former Vice President Joe Biden said Bloomberg condoned racist police practices, and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said Bloomberg was trying to “buy out” the Democratic Party.
But his biggest struggle came when Warren hammered him over allegations of sexism and mistreatment of women in his company.
Bloomberg attempted to defend his record and deflect the attacks on him by turning them into attacks on President Donald Trump. And he effectively raised questions about whether Americans would embrace a socialist like Sanders.
But the glare was harsh, and the attacks landed with force.
Even if you are worth $60 billion it is hard to win a 5-on-1 fight.