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Bloomberg to make his debut on Democratic presidential debate stage in Nevada

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Bloomberg to make his debut on Democratic presidential debate stage in Nevada

By Simon Lewis and Tim Reid

 

2020-02-19T110630Z_1_LYNXMPEG1I0SN_RTROPTP_4_USA-ELECTION-DEMOCRATS-POLL.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg attends a campaign event at Buffalo Soldiers national museum in Houston, Texas, U.S. February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

 

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Michael Bloomberg will make a high-risk debut on the Democratic debate stage in Nevada on Wednesday, joining five presidential rivals who have been eagerly awaiting their chance to confront the free-spending and fast-rising billionaire.

 

The nationally televised debate will give many voters their first unscripted look at Bloomberg, a media mogul and former New York mayor whose campaign has been fuelled by hundreds of millions of dollars of self-funded television ads and carefully choreographed personal appearances.

 

Despite skipping the first four early voting states in February to focus on later nominating contests in March, Bloomberg qualified on Tuesday for his first debate after meeting the Democratic National Committee's polling requirement.

 

He will join Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren at the debate, three days before Nevada's presidential caucuses, the third contest in the state-by-state race to find a challenger to Republican President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election.

 

Biden and Warren, in particular, face the do-or-die task of reigniting their campaigns after poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire earlier this month.

 

Bloomberg, 78, has come under heavy fire on the campaign trail recently as his poll numbers have surged and his entry into the race on March 3 - known as Super Tuesday, when 14 states vote - draws closer.

 

He has risen to No. 2 among Democrats behind progressive Senator Bernie Sanders, according to a Reuters/Ipsos national poll released on Tuesday.

 

Rivals are certain to challenge Bloomberg over his record, including his past support in New York of "stop-and-frisk" police policies during his time as mayor that disproportionately hit African Americans.

 

How Bloomberg, who has not participated in a political debate since his 2009 mayoral re-election campaign, deals with the pressure will help determine his campaign's fate.

 

"You only have one chance to make a good first impression," said Aaron Kall, director of debate at the University of Michigan. "If he doesn't turn in a good performance, all the momentum he has could evaporate before he is even on a ballot on Super Tuesday."

 

The debate will begin at 6 p.m. PST (0200 GMT on Thursday).

 

Michael Bloomberg will make a high-risk debut on the Democratic debate stage in Nevada on Wednesday, joining five presidential rivals who have been eagerly awaiting their chance to confront the free-spending and fast-rising billionaire. This report produced by Chris Dignam.

 

SANDERS SURGE

The Nevada caucuses are the first in a state with a more diverse population after contests in predominantly white Iowa and New Hampshire.

 

Those first contests produced a split verdict, with Buttigieg, 38, the moderate former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, edging Sanders in Iowa, and Sanders, a senator from Vermont, narrowly beating Buttigieg in New Hampshire.

 

Bloomberg's presence could be a gift to Sanders, 78, drawing attention and attacks away from the newly minted front-runner, who has surged into the lead in national and Nevada polls after strong finishes in the first two contests.

 

Warren and Sanders, who regularly rails on the campaign trail against the political influence of billionaires, have accused Bloomberg of trying to buy his way into the White House.

 

Bloomberg has spent $338 million of his own money on a barrage of television ads, according to independent ad tracker Advertising Analytics.

Bloomberg, seemingly eager to turn the race into a one-on-one contest with Sanders, has questioned whether Sanders and his fervent online supporters - known as "Bernie Bros" - were hurting the party.

 

Bloomberg will not be the only candidate under pressure.

 

Biden, 77, the former vice president and onetime front-runner, and Warren, 70, a senator from Massachusetts who was considered a leading contender just three months ago, will be fighting for their political survival in Nevada.

 

Klobuchar, 59, who surged into a third-place finish in New Hampshire after a strong debate performance there, and Buttigieg will face questions about what polls show is their lack of support among black and Latino voters.

 

Nearly one-third of voters in the Nevada Democratic caucuses in 2016 were either black or Latino, according to entrance polls.

 

Bloomberg qualified for the debate after the Democratic National Committee eliminated requirements on the number of donors that had previously blocked the self-funding Bloomberg.

 

(Reporting by Simon Lewis and Tim Reid in Las Vegas and John Whitesides in Washington; Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Soyoung Kim and Peter Cooney)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-02-20

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I find it strange that there is critical comment about someone spending his own money rather than using donations. Either way the purpose is still to "buy"  a way into a political position.

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Oh the knives are out lol pretty good so far any of them are an improvement over trump lol at least it isent like listening to children fight at the sandbox like trump did lol lots of good stuff

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Im watching it right now with a cup of Mondulkiri Coffee and a baguette. These are my impressions as a regular, educated  independent voter who has watched elections since 1963:

 

1. Warren: a screechy, hectoring school marm. Id vote for Bloomberg before her.

2. Bernie: a throwback to the old school Vorwarts crowd I grew up around. He needs round glasses and a pointy beard. He gets points in my book for sincerity.

3. Biden: enough Joe, retire already.
4. Bloomberg: hes Bloomberg. I wouldnt vote for him for dog catcher anyway so I pay little attention to him. I like guns and big sodas.

5. Klobuchar: has the capability to be a "moderate" and appeal to the ordinary folks, but her voice needs to stop quivering.

6. Mayor Pete: not even worth discussing. A smarmy, supercilious nobody that I wouldnt even have a beer with.

 

Now they are busy pandering to each and every one of their alleged constituancies, promising free stuff, being woke, etc. Snooze.

 

If Klobuchar was the nominee, she would merit consideration if she moves to the center ( I consider a democrat like Bill Clinton and Joe Manchin to be centrist). But, I see Bernie as the nominee in a wild convention with all sorts of hoopla. And a great election to follow. Because it wont just be about personalities, it will be ideology too.

Edited by Nyezhov
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1 hour ago, Dumbastheycome said:

I find it strange that there is critical comment about someone spending his own money rather than using donations. Either way the purpose is still to "buy"  a way into a political position.

 

If you want the office of the President to be sold to the highest bidder that makes sense. Maybe Bezos should come in now? Russia has Putin who is arguably much much richer than Bloomberg. He is possibly the only trillionaire on the planet.

Edited by Cryingdick
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Bloomberg just got his head handed to him on a silver platter.

Edited by Cryingdick
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Bernie is the only one addressing homelessness.  gets my vote. Santa Monica looks worse than India now.  more housing needs to be built. Bernie is committed to building 10,000000 new housing units.  i have seen too much gentrification in L.A. lots of people sleeping in their cars as well.  disgraceful.  i like his plan to confront the big pharmaceutical companies.  and he will expand Social Security another topic avoided by his fellow candidates.  the others are a joke, spineless like the Republicans in Congress.  will America vote for him?  probably too progressive.  but the kids dig him and this could put him over the top.  

Edited by malibukid
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2 hours ago, malibukid said:

Bernie is the only one addressing homelessness.  gets my vote. Santa Monica looks worse than India now.  more housing needs to be built. Bernie is committed to building 10,000000 new housing units.  i have seen too much gentrification in L.A. lots of people sleeping in their cars as well.  disgraceful.  i like his plan to confront the big pharmaceutical companies.  and he will expand Social Security another topic avoided by his fellow candidates.  the others are a joke, spineless like the Republicans in Congress.  will America vote for him?  probably too progressive.  but the kids dig him and this could put him over the top.  

His appeal to urban woman could be the deciding factor against trump

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All Dem candidates want open borders, and most want taxpayer-funded free healthcare.  No thanks.

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7 hours ago, Cryingdick said:

Bloomberg just got his head handed to him on a silver platter.

Too short...

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8 hours ago, Cryingdick said:

 

If you want the office of the President to be sold to the highest bidder that makes sense. Maybe Bezos should come in now? Russia has Putin who is arguably much much richer than Bloomberg. He is possibly the only trillionaire on the planet.

Wonder if putin feels like he got good value with trump?I thought the debate was pretty good at least it was better than some 10 year old throwing sandbox insults lol I think they need to work on how impractical much of Bernie’s ideas are joe did well mike so so I still like mike or Biden 

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Edited by Shot

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