Former New York City Mayor and Billionaire Michael Bloomberg fended off numerous attacks in his first Democratic Presidential Debate appearance., televised on MSNBC from Las Vegas.
Bloomberg took to the stage Wednesday night in the LIVE debate at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel. Throughout, he seemed to have a strategy: remain calm, cool and collected under a blitzkrieg of hits from his co-debaters.
Having spent nearly $420 million of his own money so far on his campaign –including a variety of television and social media ads, which have raised his standing in the polls, Bloomberg should have expected to be a punching bag.
The Stop and Frisk policy, a practice of temporarily detaining, questioning, and searching civilians on the street for weapons and drugs, which remained in place during Bloomberg’s mayoral term provided ammunition.
Former Vice President Joe Biden said the Stop and Frisk policy resulted in “throwing five million black men up against the wall.” Senator Sanders said the policy targeted “African-Americans and Latinos in an outrageous way.”
Bloomberg’s strategic response, seemed to be simple: re-hash the public apology he made early in his campaign for supporting the discriminatory policy. Then, he moved on to underscore the positive legislation he has supported to benefit communities of color.
In another tense moment, Bloomberg faced a question about sexually harassing former employees of his company and reaching Non-Disclosure Agreements with those employees.
Senator Elizabeth Warren challenged Bloomberg to release those who made NDAs with Bloomberg. “They (the NDAs were made consensually and they have every right to believe they will remain private,” Bloomberg said. “We will abide by the agreement.”
At one point, he turned to his colleagues and said this: “I’m the only one here who has started a business. Is that fair?”
His colleagues remained silent.
Bloomberg has skipped the first four primary and caucus states. He seems to be focusing his campaign on gaining wins on March 3rd, Super Tuesday.
That’s the Lowdown.