The Democratic presidential primary race has whittled down to just two major candidates: former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The last major candidate to drop out and pave the way for their one-on-one match-up was Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who’s now confirmed that yes, she was trying to end former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s own Democratic presidential primary campaign with her attacks on him during a pair of Democratic debates last month. In quickly viral debate moments, she hammered him right from the get-go as an “arrogant billionaire” like Trump who just happened to have a D for Democrat next to their name.
Warren seems to have been at least somewhat successful — Bloomberg dropped out of the presidential race on Wednesday, the day before she did. According to FiveThirtyEight, his chances at the nomination started free-falling from their already precarious position around the same time that Warren launched her opening rhetorical salvos at a debate ahead of the Nevada caucuses.
Now, she explains:
‘In my view, he was absolutely the riskiest candidate for Democrats on that stage, and let me tell you part of the reason why. All of those things in his history mean that he could never launch any of those attacks against Donald Trump. Think about the things we are going to need to talk about: hiding your taxes, history with women, embracing racist policies when you’re in charge, helping bazillionaires and leaving everybody else behind. Shoot, he wouldn’t even be able to launch the autocrat argument against him because Michael Bloomberg’s the guy who, when he was mayor, literally got the change in the laws so he could hang onto power longer.’
Sen. Elizabeth Warren takes credit for Mike Bloomberg ending his presidential campaign after their fiery exchange during his first debate.
"In my view he was absolutely the riskiest candidate for Democrats on that stage." pic.twitter.com/sD8AG7iL6a
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 6, 2020
Bloomberg served as New York City mayor for three terms, ending in late 2013. (Current NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio took office on January 1, 2014.) Criticism against Bloomberg’s candidacy ranged from his documented past of grossly sexist behavior to his perpetuation of a “stop-and-frisk” policy that gave New York police officers the green light to stop and frisk individuals on the basis of “suspicion.” Cops used that policy for millions of stop and frisks during Bloomberg’s time in office, which were used to target and intimidate marginalized communities like African Americans. Bloomberg’s claim that the program got “out of control” and he was innocent of responsibility was a lie.
Now, Bloomberg has endorsed Joe Biden, and he’s planning to use his money to continue his support for his preferred side of the Democratic field and beating Donald Trump in November. Trump always paid close attention to Bloomberg’s campaign, even though the former mayor never even quite cracked the top two candidates. Trump’s ego felt threatened.
And he has good reason to worry. In Democratic presidential primaries this cycle, turnout has surged dramatically past 2016 levels, suggesting that anti-Trump voters are amped up and ready to go to take on the current president this fall.
Biden currently leads Trump by an average of 5.5 percent in hypothetical general election match-up polling, while Sanders has an average 4.7 percent lead.