PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was open season on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the five other Democratic candidates took their first cracks at the billionaire’s politics in office and history as an employer during Wednesday night’s debate.
“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, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said on the debate stage.
Peggy Rakula was eating lunch at the Court Diner in Media trying to digest her first exposure to Bloomberg.
“I don’t hold out much hope for him,” Rakula said.
One man described the Democratic debate as a demolition derby.
Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is the national political chairman for Bloomberg’s campaign.
“I would say not our best moment, but getting stronger. Like I said, first debate. I’m sure for all the other candidates who’ve now been debating for eight months, we probably don’t remember what those first debates were like for all of them, so we got some ground to make up,” Nutter said.
In the latest Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday, every Democrat gained ground in a potential general election against President Donald Trump.
But Democrats worry about electability among the six most likely candidates.
“Who’s a Democrat? Bloomberg was a Republican and you have socialists, so we’ll see,” said Karen Hill of Media.
“Mike Bloomberg weathered the storm. Folks tried to land a couple different punches here and there,” Nutter said.
Bloomberg’s first time on a ballot isn’t until Super Tuesday, but he will be on the debate stage next week in South Carolina as well. CBS News will co-host the debate in Charleston. Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell will moderate.
The debate airs Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. on CBS3.