—Fox News: Michael Bloomberg landed in Las Vegas like a highly anticipated show on the Strip. But when he took to the stage with five competitors for the Democratic presidential nomination Wednesday night, their debate immediately became an Ultimate Fighting Championship match.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., landed the most blows and won the night. Warren would not be ignored or denied.
New York (CNN Business) Nearly 20 million viewers tuned into Wednesday night’s Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC in Las Vegas, making it the most-watched Democratic primary debate of all time, according to preliminary numbers.
With Bloomberg appearing on the debate stage for the first time, most of the other Democrats seized the opportunity to make him their foil. At times the former New York mayor seemed shell-shocked as Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders trashed scrutinized his record on race over the coals, recited his most controversial and crude past comments, and even debated about whether billionaires like him should exist at all.
Warren flattened Bloomberg out of the gate using his own words against the former New York City mayor and he never recovered. As a result, voters got to see the real Warren, who was the front-runner last fall. And they saw the real Bloomberg, not the filtered one seen on paid TV ads and in social media
Bloomberg’s performance was a disaster. He was not the Bloomberg of his ads in this debate – and that’s now a big problem for him. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars on ads has bought Bloomberg name recognition, good poll numbers and a pole position in the debate – but no amount of money can guarantee a great debate performance.
And that was the case Wednesday night. Voters will see clips of this performance on TV and read about it for days, and it will seriously hurt Bloomberg’s standing in the presidential nomination race.