Bloomberg Defends Wealth, Capitalism in Debate With Socialist Sanders

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Posted: Feb 19, 2020 11:25 PM
Bloomberg Defends Wealth, Capitalism in Debate With Socialist Sanders

Source: AP Photo/John Locher

It was former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's first time on the Democratic presidential debate stage. After his dismal performance, Bloomberg is probably regretting his decision to buy his way into Wednesday night's debate. The billionaire was mercilessly attacked by the other five candidates for his controversial stop-and-frisk policy as mayor of New York, his failure to disclose his tax returns and his refusal to release women from non-disclosure agreements. To make matters worse, Bloomberg wasn't given a box to stand on during the debate and appeared to be the same height as Amy Klobuchar, who is 5'4" tall. But what really seemed to separate Michael Bloomberg from his fellow candidates was the subject of personal wealth. 

"We have a grotesque and immoral distribution of wealth in income," began socialist Bernie Sanders. "Mike Bloomberg owns more wealth than the bottom 125 million Americans. That's wrong. That's immoral."

Sanders has said in the past that billionaires shouldn't exist, and he focused his attacks on the extravagance of Bloomberg's financial health. 

"Mayor Bloomberg, should you exist?" moderator Chuck Todd asked as he turned the floor over to the media mogul. 

"I can't speak for all billionaires," responded Bloomberg. "All I know is I have been very lucky, made a lot of money and I'm giving it all away to make this country better, and a good chunk of it goes to the Democratic Party as well." 

"Is it too much?" Chuck Todd struggled to ask over a thunderous audience. "Have you earned too much money -- has it been an obscene amount of money? Should you have earned that much money?"

"Yes," declared Bloomberg defiantly. "I worked very hard for it, and I'm giving it away." 

Moments later, Sanders attacked Bloomberg again saying, "maybe your workers played some role in that as well." Sanders then said he wants to see workers sitting on corporate boards too, "so they can have some say in what happens to their lives."

"Mayor Bloomberg, you own a large company would you support what Senator Sanders is proposing?" asked moderator Hallie Jackson.

"Absolutely not," Bloomberg answered. "I can't think of a way that would make it easier for Donald Trump to get re-elected than to listening to this conversation. This is ridiculous. We're not going to throw out capitalism. We tried that. Other countries tried that. It was called communism and it just didn't work."