Bloomberg Has Never Debated Quite Like This Before

He last debated in 2009, and not with 5 rivals alongside him
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2020 7:40 AM CST

(Newser) – Six Democratic contenders take the debate stage in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, but one will be in the spotlight like no other: Mike Bloomberg is getting behind the podium for the first time, and "he is going to have a giant target on his back from all sides," Democratic strategist Brian Brokaw tells the AP. "It'll either all come together brilliantly or could fall apart very quickly. ... The stakes are just incredibly high for him." As they are for the other participating candidates—that would be Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren—ahead of Saturday's Nevada caucuses (which Bloomberg is not participating in). Coverage:

  • The Guardian reports that the expected pile-on will be a first for Bloomberg, who hasn't been on a debate stage since 2009 and never debated more than one candidate while vying to become New York City mayor.
  • But Axios paints him as prepared. "Bloomberg knows it's coming, has rehearsed his retorts, readied ads and policy plans to deflect, and will unleash $1.5 billion more on ads and staff to clean up any damage."
  • So what is coming? Axios nicely outlines that, too, and it's a big list. Among the six points it expects his rivals to try to make: "He was crude and sexist" and "he coddled China for business reasons." Read the full list here. Or check out some of the most recent reporting on the topic: A BuzzFeed News piece on a 2019 video in which Bloomberg described transgender people as "he, she, or it."

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