Democratic presidential candidates go after each other in SC debate


By Ted O’Neil | The Center Square

Four days ahead of South Carolina’s primary, Tuesday night’s Democratic National Committee debate was more about the candidates attacking each other than it was about winning the election in November.

The evening started off on CBS with a commercial from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg that featured only women who worked for him during his 12-year administration leading the nation’s largest city.

The new commercial appeared to be a direct response to questions posed to Bloomberg by other candidates in last week’s Las Vegas DNC debate about complaints filed against him that led to non-disclosure agreements between him, his company and complainants.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren quickly jumped into the fray as the other candidates on stage attacked Bloomberg, calling him the “riskiest candidate” and saying that the “core of the Democratic Party doesn’t trust him.”

Warren went on to claim that at least one NDA Bloomberg had signed with a former female employee was in regards to her pregnancy, saying the woman said Bloomberg told her to “just kill it” regarding her unborn child.

Bloomberg responded that “I never said that. Period. End of story.”

The other candidates on stage continued to attack Bloomberg during the first hour of the debate, with former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar calling Bloomberg’s “stop and frisk” policing policy in New York City “racist” due to its impact on African-American men.

“We let it get out of control,” Bloomberg admitted, although he did say New York City became safer during his 12 years as mayor.

Warren then pointed out that Bloomberg had a history of donating money to Republican candidates, including South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, especially when those candidates were running against Democratic female opponents.

When the recently revealed topic of Russian interference in the Democratic race came up, Bloomberg claimed Vladimir Putin wanted to help Sanders win the Democratic nomination so that he would lose to President Donald Trump in November.

As the conversation turned to gun control, former Vice President Joe Biden claimed that Sanders voted against the Brady Bill five times, pointing to the 2015 shooting in South Carolina that killed nine parishioners at Charleston’s Mother Emmanuel Church. Sanders countered by saying he has a “D-minus” voting record according to the National Rifle Association.

On education, Bloomberg said he would attempt to emulate the success of charter public schools in NYC on a national platform if elected.

An NBC/Marist College poll released Monday showed Biden at 27 percent support in South Carolina, with Sanders close behind at 23 percent, well within the 6-point plus/minus margin of error.

Original here. Reproduced with permission.