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Bloomberg qualifies for next debate after poll boost

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Bloomberg qualifies for next debate after poll boost

By Jason Lange

 

2020-02-18T103915Z_2_LYNXMPEG1H0R5_RTROPTP_4_USA-ELECTION-BLOOMBERG.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks during a campaign event at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S. February 12, 2020. REUTERS/Doug Strickland

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday qualified for this week's Democratic presidential debate in Nevada, putting him on the same stage as his rivals for the first time in the race for the party's nomination.

 

The debate on Wednesday will be the ninth in the contest for who will challenge Republican President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election.

 

A late entry to the race, Bloomberg, 78, has risen in public opinion polls as he pours money from his estimated $60 billion personal fortune into a national campaign, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on television ads.

 

When he takes the stage on Wednesday, he is likely to be challenged directly by rivals over his use as mayor of a policing policy widely seen as discriminatory and of supposed sexist practices at his company.

 

"There's a lot to talk about with Michael Bloomberg," former vice president and candidate for the nomination Joe Biden told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

 

Bloomberg had support from 19% of the people surveyed in a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released on Tuesday.

 

With that result, he met the Democratic Party's requirements for debate qualification by receiving double-digit support in four national polls recognised by the party, his campaign said in a statement.

 

While Bloomberg is not competing in the first four nomination contests - Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina - he hopes to start winning delegates beginning on Super Tuesday on March 3, when 14 states will vote.

 

When Michael Bloomberg steps onto the Democratic debate stage for the first time on Wednesday, he will face attacks from his rival candidates over his past support for policies he claims to no longer support. This report produced by Chris Dignam.

 

At least five other candidates have qualified for Wednesday's debate ahead of Nevada's Feb. 22 caucuses: Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg.

 

Warren and Sanders charge that Bloomberg is trying to buy the election. He responds that he is playing by the rules and has offered to fund the Democratic effort to beat Trump even if he doesn't win the nomination.

 

He will likely be grilled about his support while New York mayor of a policing strategy that ensnared blacks and Latinos disproportionately.

 

Bloomberg apologised for that policy, known as "stop and frisk," just before announcing he was running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

 

His campaign has declined to comment on criticism over 2008 remarks in which he tied a housing market collapse to a ban on a discriminatory housing practice known as redlining.

 

He has also expressed regret over making inappropriate jokes.

 

"Did I ever tell a bawdy joke? Yeah, sure I did. And do I regret it? Yes. It's embarrassing," Bloomberg told ABC's "The View" on Jan. 15. "But, you know, that's the way I grew up."

 

The Washington Post on Saturday published what it said was a copy of a 32-page booklet distributed at a party in 1990 that included sexist remarks by Bloomberg, reportedly compiled by his colleagues.

 

The Post also chronicled numerous discrimination lawsuits filed against Bloomberg LP, a major provider of news and financial information, over the last three decades.

 

In one case, a saleswoman filed a lawsuit alleging that when she told Bloomberg she was pregnant in 1995, his response was, "Kill it." Bloomberg has denied making the remark, and the lawsuit was settled. The Washington Post published comments by a man who said he witnessed Bloomberg's remark.

 

Bloomberg said in the ABC interview that his company had experienced "very few" cases of sexual harassment given its large size, and said he thinks "most people would say we're a great place to work."

 

He said the company would not release women from non-disclosure agreements that were part of legal settlements, some of which stemmed from allegations of sexual harassment. Warren has called on Bloomberg to release the women from the agreements.

 

On Sunday, Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman Julie Wood said in an emailed statement regarding the allegations in the Washington Post:

 

"Virtually all of this has been reported over the past two decades. In any large organization, there are going to be complaints — but Mike simply does not tolerate any kind of discrimination or harassment, and he's created cultures that are all about equality and inclusion."

 

(Reporting by Jason Lange and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-02-19

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1 minute ago, Jingthing said:

Get the damaging stuff aired and forgotten as early as possible. That's the way it's done. There was another democratic party billionaire that spend a lot of money and got almost no support. It's not only about Bloomberg's money. Yes it's money but it's also who he is and what he's accomplished and what he's trying to accomplish now (DEFEAT 45!). 

 

Translation: it's the money.

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

when she told Bloomberg she was pregnant in 1995, his response was, "Kill it."

Well, that'll qualify him as pro-choice!   555

But no loss, the anti-abortion crowd already has their candidate.

 

I haven't watched a Dem debate since the 2nd one, too damn depressing.  But this I'll watch, this is probably as granular as MB will get during the primaries.  His line at his rallies is "I'm running to defeat Donald T___p!"  And that's it.  The pack of them are going to go after the New Kid and try to make a bloomburger out of him before they start going after each other.  I'm expecting a few "I've got nothing to lose" attacks.  Don't think MB is beyond butting into one of these confrontations, saying "you're both wrong."

He's a very sharp, intelligent guy, and he has no need to tell anybody that, it's the empty barrels that make all the noise, right?  I think it's going to come down to him and Amy.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Boon Mee said:

These democrats are totally disorganized to the point it will be massive low voter turnout in November. 

There isn't one of the candidates in that bunch who has a ghost of of chance beating DJT. 

 

The other thing going against them is they are not gracious losers. I mean that in the sense that when Bernie and Bloomberg face off when one wins the losing side won't accept it. I know they claim they will unite but this is not in their DNA. 

 

Expect a train wreck of political maneuvering, recounts, court injunctions, etc. Mike is having problems passing the purity tests for the woke. Bernie has the appeal of outrage and that's what you are going to see when Mike skates right past him into the nomination.

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I expect mike will be dry and factual after it’s his business information facts truth so people and business can make sound decisions I’m sure he will be attacked it’s a debate after all but I doubt anyone will be advocating foreign governments to interfere lol

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24 minutes ago, Tug said:

I expect mike will be dry and factual after it’s his business information facts truth so people and business can make sound decisions I’m sure he will be attacked it’s a debate after all but I doubt anyone will be advocating foreign governments to interfere lol

 

It's almost like we have plucked the only honest businessman on Wall Street out and placed him in the election. lol 

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3 hours ago, Cryingdick said:

 

It's almost like we have plucked the only honest businessman on Wall Street out and placed him in the election. lol 

 

I read that he's considering having Hilary as his VP running mate.

 

Hope his life insurance premiums are all paid up to date!

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Another nail in Bernie's coffin.

 

"Joe, Joe, he's our man

If he can't do it... Mike can!"

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45 minutes ago, Baerboxer said:

 

I read that he's considering having Hilary as his VP running mate.

 

Hope his life insurance premiums are all paid up to date!

Fake news from Drudge a garbage source. 

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Just now, Jingthing said:

Fake news from Drudge a garbage source. 

It was Drudge who broke the "news" that Monica had been giving Bill the odd head job. He's just a Republican shill

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