US billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg has been slammed during today’s Democratic debate in what was the most heated discussion of the election campaign to date.
The first swipe at Mr Bloomberg came in the first answer of the debate, with Bernie Sanders invoking his previous position of “stop-and-frisk”, which the senator described as “racist”.
Mr Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York, said Mr Sanders could not beat the sitting US president.
“I don’t think there’s any chance of the senator beating Donald Trump,” he said.
“If he is the candidate, we will have Donald Trump for another four years, and we can’t stand that.”
Elizabeth Warren took a sharper jab.
“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,” the senator said.
The crowd hooted at Senator Warren’s remark.
“Democrats take huge risks if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another,” she said.
Joe Biden then jumped in.
“The fact of the matter is, he has not managed his city very well,” Mr Biden said.
“With stop-and-frisk, he was throwing close to five million young black men against the wall.”
Soon after, Pete Buttigieg took aim at both Senator Sanders and Mr Bloomberg.
“We could wake up two weeks from today, and the only candidates left standing will be Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg,” Mr Buttigieg said.
“A socialist who thinks that capitalism is the root of all evil, and a billionaire who thinks that money should be the root of all power.
“Let’s put forward somebody who’s actually a Democrat.”
Senator Sanders then criticised Mr Buttigieg from receiving campaign support from 46 billionaires.
Amy Klobuchar accused Mr Bloomberg of “hiding behind his TV ads”.
“I don’t think we get rid of Donald Trump by saying we need someone richer in the White House,” Senator Klobuchar said.
Later, Mr Bloomberg was torn to shreds by Elizabeth Warren, and then Joe Biden, over the sexual harassment settlements he has signed with former employees.
And his defence did not impress the audience.
“None of them accused me of doing anything other than maybe they didn’t like a joke I told,” he said.
“They signed those agreements and we’ll live with it.”
Mr Bloomberg squirmed when Senator Warren pressed him to release the women from their non-disclosure agreements.
“We are not going to beat Donald Trump with a man who has who-knows-how-many non-disclosure agreements,” Senator Warren said.
Mr Bloomberg was also slammed for his sheer volume of wealth by Senator Sanders.
“Mike Bloomberg owns more wealth than the bottom 125 million Americans,” Senator Sanders said.