Sparks flew during the Nevada democratic presidential debate, with five veteran debaters and one newcomer facing off on stage on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s debate, 2020 Nevada democratic caucus, was the first for billionaire former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who took significant heat from the other candidates on stage over his treatment of women and defense of stop and frisk.
The Nevada democratic presidential debate, set pressure on Bernie Sanders to defend his position as a leading candidate in the run-up to Nevada’s caucuses on Saturday.
While moderates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar and Bloomberg seemed to extend their bases, and Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren explored a lift after failing to meet early expectations.
Mr. Sanders believes the Democratic candidate with the most nominees should become the party’s presidential nominee, notwithstanding whether they have a majority needed to secure the nomination on the first ballot at the national convention in July.
Everyone else onstage disagrees.
It’s quite an entrance from Mr. Sanders’s competitors that he may finish the first and caucus calendar with the most pledged delegates. However, they hope to keep him under 50 percent and make their case to delegates in Milwaukee.
“Let the process work its way out,” Mr. Biden responded. “Let the process work,” Ms. Klobuchar stated.
Mr. Sanders said no.
“We have enormous problems facing this country, and we cannot continue seeing a situation where in the last three years, billionaires in this country saw an $850 billion increase in their wealth. Congratulations, Mr. Bloomberg. But the average American last year saw less than a 1 percent increase in his or her income. That’s wrong.”
This is mostly true. Michael Bloomberg‘s Billionaire Index reported in December that 172 American billionaires involved in its ranking added $500 billion to their wealth in 2019.
In 2018, Bloomberg announced that the country’s 173 greatest billionaires lost 5.9 percent of their entire wealth, leaving them with $1.9 trillion at the end of the year.
U.S. billionaires included in the list added $315 billion to their net worth in 2017. That amounts to $815 billion in total raises, not $850 billion.
Sanders’ declaration that “the average American saw less than a 1 percent increase in their income” is true. The median family income raised by 0.9 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to the Census Bureau. Family household median income raised by 1.2 percent, As single household income expanded by 2.4 percent.
LAS VEGAS — Mike Bloomberg would deny any cuts to Social Security or Medicare if elected president, his senior campaign adviser Howard Wolfson announced here Wednesday after the Nevada democratic presidential debate.
Wolfson stated those retirement programs would be off the table in a Bloomberg presidency, marking a shift from the former New York mayor’s past positions in support of decreasing benefits to reduce the debt.
“We’re at a point where working people, in particular, are feeling squeezed about the future, where you have dislocation and job loss, you have entire industries that are contracting,” Wolfson stated. “And now is not the time to be putting those kinds of things on the table in the context of deficit reduction. Mike has a plan to raise taxes to pay for a lot of the investments we need. But no — no Social Security or Medicare cuts.”
The fight began out white-hot when, in her first turn at the microphone, Warren asserted that she would support whoever wins the nomination, but cautioned that Democrats “take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.”
She said the field is running toward somebody “who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians — and no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”
As some attendees cheered, she continued, “We are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop-and-frisk.”
Bloomberg vigorously refused to support redlining, or systematically denying services to certain neighborhoods.
“Mr. Mayor, are you willing to release all of those women from those nondisclosure agreements, so we can hear their side of the story?” Warren questioned, to roaring applause.
“We have very few nondisclosure agreements,” Bloomberg replied. “None of them accused me of doing anything — except, maybe they didn’t like a joke I told.” The audience then booed loudly.
“It was agreements between two parties that wanted to keep it quiet, and that’s up to them. They signed those agreements, and we’ll live with it,” Bloomberg declared.
Mr. Buttigieg, who has drawn much more support from older voters than younger ones, was asked about an essay he wrote as a young man in support of Mr. Sanders.
“It’s true,” he said. “I was into Bernie before it was cool.”
No one has gone on the attack more tonight than Ms. Warren.
In a single breath, she took on Mr. Sanders, Mr. Biden, Ms. Klobuchar, and Mr. Buttigieg — the entire rest of the field on stage with her save for Mr. Bloomberg, the subject of many of her prior slashing attacks.
“Look, Democrats want to beat Donald Trump but they are worried. But they are worried about gambling on a narrow vision that doesn’t address the fears of millions of Americans across this country who see real problems and want real change,” she stated. “They are worried about gambling on a revolution that won’t bring along a majority of this country.”
The previous vice president has been a nonfactor for most of tonight’s Nevada democratic presidential debate. Other than a few extra lines from Ms. Warren, he hasn’t been attacked by everyone else.
“I’m the only person on this stage that’s beaten Mitch McConnell on four major, major cases,” Mr. Biden said. “Mitch McConnell — I’ve been the object of his affection and the president’s affection, the way he’s gone after me in this new Republican Party, after me, after my son, after my family. I don’t need to be told I’m a friend of Mitch McConnell’s. Mitch McConnell has been the biggest pain in my neck in a long, long time.”
Ms. Warren jumped back in and reminded Mr. Biden that he once told Mr. McConnell that he hoped he’d win his 2014 re-election bid.
“According to The New York Times, the last time that Mitch McConnell was on the ballot, the vice president stood in the Oval Office and said, I hope that Mitch gets re-elected so I can keep working with him. Well, Mitch did, Mitch did get re-elected. He did not have an epiphany. Instead, he blocked nearly everything that Barack Obama tried to pass. And he stole a Supreme Court seat from the Democrats.” She said.
It has been no confidence that Ms. Klobuchar is no fan of Mr. Buttigieg. She put an outcry point on that fact on Wednesday, as they tussled over experience, their records and what qualifies someone to be president.
After Mr. Buttigieg scrutinized her voting record on judges in the Senate, Ms. Klobuchar slashed back.
“I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete,” Ms. Klobuchar stated, repeatedly saying she, unlike him, was “in the arena.”
“You’ve memorized a bunch of talking points and a bunch of things,” she answered a few moments later.
Mr. Buttigieg attacked her of talking down to him.
“Maybe leading a diverse city that was facing ruin doesn’t sound like the arena to you,” he said. “I’m used to senators telling mayors that senators are more important than mayors, but this is the arena too. You don’t have to be in Washington to matter.”
Ms. Klobuchar: I’m a winner who loves the people of America.
Mr. Bloomberg: I’m not asking for any money and I’m a manager that can beat President Trump.
Mr. Buttigieg: I’m a candidate who can build the largest coalition to defeat Mr. Trump.
Ms. Warren: I’m from Oklahoma and grew up “fighting” in a family that struggled financially, and now I want to fight for you.
Mr. Biden: I’m the only one who has enacted health care and defeated the National Rifle Association.
Mr. Sanders: I’m the guy for universal health care and taxing the wealthy and real change.