Her performance has been widely regarded as the strongest of any candidate on stage and it helped revitalise her campaign as she enjoyed a record-breaking day of campaign donations. #PresidentElizabethWarren was trending on Twitter during and after the debate.
In the opening minutes, Warren wasted no time, piercing Mike Bloomberg on his record of sexist remarks and non-disclosure agreements with women.
“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,” Warren said in the opening minutes of the debate.
“I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”
Warren has never been afraid of strongly worded arguments, but on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, she took her usual sharpness to the next level.
When moderators questioned Bloomberg on his history of using non-disclosure agreements to silence women who have sued him over sexual harassment allegations, Warren did not mince her words.
“I hope you heard what his defence was — ‘I’ve been nice to some women,” she said. “That just doesn’t cut it.”
“The mayor has to stand on his record and what we need know is exactly what is lurking out there. He has gotten some number of women, dozens – who knows? To sign non-disclosure agreements, both for sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace.”
Warren then demanded Bloomberg commit to releasing these women from their NDA’s.
“So, Mr Mayor, are you willing to release all those women from their non-disclosure agreements, so we can hear their side of the story?”
Sen. Warren presses Bloomberg to address his history of treatment of women, and Bloomberg discusses non-disclosure agreements.
Warren presses Bloomberg to say number of women.
Bloomberg declines to release the women from agreements. pic.twitter.com/YoPGnQI0vJ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 20, 2020
“We are not going to beat Donald Trump with a man who has who knows how many nondisclosure agreements,” Warren said, “and the drip, drip, drip of stories of women saying they have been harassed and discriminated against.”
As the debate unfolded, Warren proceeded to attack Bloomberg over the ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy he introduced when he was New York mayor between 2002 and 2013. It was a controversial policy that critics say led to racial profiling. In resurfaced footage from 2015, Bloomberg said that police should focus on minority neighbourhoods, “because that’s where all the crime is.”
“When the mayor says that he apologized, listen very closely to the apology,” Warren said.
“The language he used is about stop and frisk. It’s about how it turned out. No, this isn’t about how it turned out. This is about what it was designed to do to begin with.”
Former adviser to Barack Obama, Van Jones, told CNN the debate was a disaster for Bloomberg.
“Bloomberg went in as the Titanic, the billion-dollar machine Titanic. Titanic – meet iceberg Elizabeth Warren. She took him to task in a way in I’ve never seen in a debate.”
Warren also took aim at the other candidates during the debate, criticising Bernie Sanders’ campaign tactics, and poking holes at Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar’s healthcare policies.
“We need to get everybody’s healthcare plans out here,” Warren said.
“Mayor Buttigieg really has a slogan thought up by consultants to paper over a thin version of a plan that would leave people unable to afford their healthcare. It’s not a plan; it’s a PowerPoint,” she said.
“And Amy’s plan is even less. It’s like a Post-It-Note. Insert plan here.”
Warren claimed the most talking time of any candidate in the debate and her performance spurred the best fundraising day of her entire campaign, with $2.8 million raised. After poor showings at the early primaries, it was exactly what the Warren campaign needed.
These are the highlights from Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 candidate roast, a.k.a. the Nevada debate pic.twitter.com/qso1vXGDLV
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 20, 2020