Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) lit into former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg during the opening moments of Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, calling him out for sexist comments and his billionaire status.
“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against — a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians,’ and no I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about mayor Bloomberg,” she said in her opening remarks on the stage in Las Vegas, Nev.
Warren went on to warn that Bloomberg was “a huge risk” as the Democratic nominee against Donald Trump, but admitted that she would support him if he did end up winning the primary.
“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 added. “Look, I’ll support whoever the democratic nominee is, but understand this: Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.”
Later in the debate, Bloomberg attempted to address the allegations of sexism that Warren leveled against him by highlighting how he had employed women during his career. “In my company, lots and lots of women have big responsibilities,” he claimed.
Warren then responded by challenging the former mayor to release women from any past non-disclosure agreements. “Understand, this is not just a question of the mayor’s character. This is also a question about electability,” she warned. In response, Bloomberg tried to dismiss the matter.
“Maybe they didn’t like a joke I told,” he said. “ . . . We’re not going to end these agreements because they were made consensually.”
Last week, Warren criticized Bloomberg’s 2008 comments blaming the housing crisis on banks abandoning “redlining” — a practice in which financial institutions refused to provide loans and mortgages to poor neighborhoods disproportionately populated by minorities.
“A video just came out yesterday in which Michael Bloomberg is saying, in effect, that the 2008 financial crash was caused because the banks weren’t permitted to discriminate against black and brown people,” Warren said at a town hall in northern Virginia.
“That crisis would not have been averted if the banks had been able to be bigger racists, and anyone who thinks that should not be the leader of our party,” the progressive Massachusetts senator added.