Bloomberg's Freudian slip: Billionaire brags he 'bought' Democrats to ensure 2018 House majority... well, almost
Former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg had a major slip-up in Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate as the billionaire appeared to boast that he essentially "bought" the Democratic majority in Congress in 2018. The controversial moment is captured in video footage from the event.
"Let’s just go on the record. They talk about 40 Democrats," Bloomberg said. "Twenty-one of those are people that I spent a hundred million dollars to help elect."
"All of the new Democrats that came in and put Nancy Pelosi in charge and gave the Congress the ability to control this president, I bough — I, I got them," he slipped.
However, the finance giant failed to clarify what he "got" the new Democratic members of Congress who eventually flipped the House of Representatives in the midterm congressional elections. Instead, he began talking about the looming federal deficit of the United States.
But social media is not quick to forgive such faux pas. The comment quickly provided fodder for Republicans like Donald Trump Jr., who seized on him "admitting he bought those seats." "OMG!" the president's son giddily exclaimed on Twitter.
While Bloomberg may be performing well in national polls despite not having been on a single ballot, the slightest of mistakes could potentially derail his campaign. What's more? This poses a larger threat for Bloomberg among Democratic voters — many of whom aren't sure if he's "sufficiently Democratic," per the Washington Post.
Bloomberg was a Democrat when he made his bones (or let's say, his staggering net worth) by building up a real-time financial information company.
The New York billionaire was elected mayor on the Republican ticket after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He then served as an independent before ultimately switching back to the Democratic Party in 2018 and vowing to invest over $100 million to help flip the House to Democrats. This, of course, paved the way to his candidacy for president as a Democrat.
Bloomberg's history of political donations has undoubtedly confused the Democratic base. He's previously contributed to the campaigns of several Republicans for Congress, including someone who once ran against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — something she was quick to point out in Tuesday's debate.
“He scooped in and to tried to defend another Republican senator against a woman challenger. That was me. It didn’t work,” she said, drawing applause from the audience.
But while Bloomberg's political contributions may be deemed transactional, he also faces accusations of exploiting his vast financial resources to essentially "buy out" the Democratic Party.
Despite facing controversy for New York's stop-and-frisk policy, several notable black members of Congress, as well as mayors, stood by him and endorsed his candidacy for president. It later emerged that all of them had received some form of financial help from him in recent years. “I don’t care how much money Mayor Bloomberg has. The core of the Democratic Party will never trust him," Warren asserted on Tuesday.
That said, Bloomberg's glaring stumble during the debate has only raised doubts among liberals that he views politics as a rather lucrative business — something that would help further his own interests.