what happens in vegas
February 20, 2020

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was not pulling her punches in Wednesday night's Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, and her most potent haymakers landed on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, standing to her right. MSNBC's post-debate panel showed the moment she started pummeling Bloomberg, and Chris Matthews described it in elaborate boxing metaphors.

The Daily Show was a little more succinct:

Warren's biggest blow was set up by Bloomberg himself, and Joe Biden jumped in to help her finish him off.

After the debate, Matthews asked Warren why she went after Bloomberg so hard. "I think it's important for people to know exactly what Michael Bloomberg has said and done," she said. "It is important to know who this guy is," and "he is a threat because he's already dropped $400 million in this campaign, and understand this: After his performance tonight, I have no doubt he is about to drop, tonight, another $100 million in this campaign ... to try to erase America's memory of what happened on that debate stage."

Warren repeated her "arrogant billionaire" critique and when Matthews asked, she said Bloomberg's treatment of women should be disqualifying for the Democratic nomination. "Can we please keep in mind" that women have "finally been acknowledged to be important in electing our candidates?" she said. "You just can't lead with a guy who's got this kind of history."

The Daily Show, again, had a similar idea, but with a different, less likely destination for Bloomberg's millions. Peter Weber

February 19, 2020

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) had the most speaking time during Wednesday's Democratic debate — a good three-and-a-half minutes more than former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who spoke the least.

The New York Times calculated that Warren talked for 16 minutes, 35 seconds, with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) close behind at 15 minutes, 55 seconds. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) spoke for 15 minutes, 24 seconds, while former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg clocked in at 13 minutes, 25 seconds.

Rounding out the pack was former Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke for 13 minutes, 25 seconds, and Bloomberg, who in his debate debut spoke for 13 minutes, two seconds. Catherine Garcia

February 19, 2020

Some of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's rivals don't think he should exist.

Or rather, they don't think the billions of dollars he has in the bank should've ever been his. So during Wednesday night's Democratic, Meet The Press host Chuck Todd posed the very meta question to Bloomberg himself.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) answered the "should billionaires exist" question first, affirming his previously declaration that no, they should not. Todd then asked Bloomberg "should you exist," to which Bloomberg said "I can't speak for all billionaires." But he's "been very lucky" and "worked hard" for his money, Bloomberg said and he deserves it because he's "giving it all away to make this country better. Kathryn Krawczyk

February 19, 2020

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wasn't afraid to call out her fellow candidates during the Democratic debate in Nevada — former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg was her favorite target — and her supporters appeared to approve of her performance.

The debate started at 9 p.m. ET, and shortly after 10 p.m., her chief marketing officer made a big announcement on Twitter. "That, my friends, was the Warren campaign's best hour of fundraising to date," Caitlin Mitchell said. "Keep it up."

The Warren campaign is hoping to raise $7 million before the Nevada caucuses on Saturday. She has vowed not to hold pricey fundraisers, and will not take any contributions over $200 from banking, tech, and investment executives. Catherine Garcia

February 19, 2020

Last week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was asked by a reporter if she could name the president of Mexico, and after thinking about it, responded, "No." This came back to haunt her during Wednesday's Democratic debate, but a fellow candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), had her back.

Klobuchar said that she doesn't believe "that momentary forgetfulness actually reflects what I know about Mexico and how much I care about it," and reminded the audience that she is "the one person on this stage that came out first to say I was for the U.S.-Mexico-Canadian trade agreement that is going to be one of the No. 1 duties of the president, to implement that." Forgetting Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's name was "an error," she continued. "I think having a president that is maybe humbled and able to admit that here and there maybe wouldn't be a bad thing."

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg responded that Klobuchar is "staking your presidency on your Washington experience," and not knowing a world leader's name was bad form. "Are you trying to say that I'm dumb?" Klobuchar snapped. "Or you're mocking me?" Buttigieg responded that he is "saying you shouldn't trivialize it."

That's when Warren jumped in. "This is not right," she said. "I understand that she forgot a name — it happens. It happens to everybody on this stage. You want to ask about whether or not you understand trade policy with Mexico? Have at it. And if you get it wrong, you ought to be held accountable for that. ... But let's just be clear, missing a name all by itself does not indicate that you do not understand what's going on. I just think this is unfair." Catherine Garcia

February 19, 2020

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has no time for Michael Bloomberg's excuses.

During his Wednesday night Democratic debate debut, the former New York City mayor and billionaire businessman was repeatedly confronted for his dismal track record when it comes to the treatment of women. Warren kicked off that confrontation early in the night, and didn't let up when Bloomberg failed to explain the nondisclosure agreements he still maintains with women who've worked for him in the past.

"I hope you heard what his defense was. 'I've been nice to some women.'" Warren fired back after Bloomberg's non-answer, to a pronounced eyeroll from Bloomberg. She then called on Bloomberg to release women from their NDAS. Bloomberg wouldn't say just how many NDAs there were, and then said those women didn't "accuse me of doing anything; maybe they didn't like the joke I told." Warren used that flippant response to dig in further.

Former Vice President Joe Biden backed up Warren's point, though he's been accused of some inappropriate contact with women himself. Kathryn Krawczyk

February 19, 2020

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg started Wednesday's Democratic debate in Nevada with a direct hit on two candidates at once.

If the party doesn't "wake up" before Super Tuesday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will likely be the only candidates left in the race, Buttigieg said. "Most Americans don't see where they fit" between those two candidates, seeing as "one wants to burn this party down" and the other "wants to buy this party out ... Let's put forward somebody who's actually a Democrat," Buttigieg said to a roaring crowd, pointing out how Sanders isn't actually a Democrat and Bloomberg just became one a little over a year ago. Sanders countered by pointing out that Buttigieg has a few dozen billionaires supporting his campaign.

Buttigieg later piled on to questions about people who claim to be Sanders' supporters attacking a culinary union that questioned his health care proposals. Sanders disavowed anyone who is attacking union leaders and suggested disinformation campaigns like what happened in 2016 could be at play. Buttigieg fired back with a signature one-liner, saying leadership "is about how you inspire people to act." Kathryn Krawczyk

February 19, 2020

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) skipped the pleasantries during Wednesday night's Democratic debate in Nevada.

Just three minutes into the debate, after former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has no chance of beating President Trump in November due to his Medicare-for-all policy, Warren quickly interjected and brought up allegations that Bloomberg has a long history of making sexist comments. "I'd like to talk about who we're running against — a billionaire who calls women 'fat broads' and 'horse-faced lesbians,'" she said. "And no, I'm not talking about Donald Trump, I'm talking about Mayor Bloomberg."

Warren was just warming up. "Democrats 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," she continued. While Warren said she will support the eventual Democratic nominee, she warned the party will take a "huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another. This country has worked for the rich for a long time, and left everyone else in the dirt. It is time to have a president who is on the side of working families and be willing to go out and fight for them." Catherine Garcia

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