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US elections: Democrats scuffle for nomination in Nevada debate

The remaining Democratic presidential candidates fight it out for their party nomination [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 February, 2020

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Tensions flared up in Las Vegas when the US democratic presidential candidates took the stage.
Democratic presidential candidates exchanged barbed words throughout Wednesday night's debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, entertaining a sharp-elbowed scuffle for the party nomination ahead of the 2020 US presidential elections.

Amid the skirmish of political and personal attacks, former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg was a favourite target for progressive candidates.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was especially critical of Bloomberg, dubbing him "a billionaire who calls people 'fat broads' and 'horse-faced lesbians'."



Bloomberg's stop-and-frisk policy during his New York mayorship, which disproportionately affected racial minorities, in addition to his alleged record of sexual harassment and mistreatment of women, also came under fire.

Bloomberg, though expressive of regret for stop-and-frisk, was unapologetic about his wealth.

After deeming his progressive counterparts' socialist-leaning policies as a boost for President Donald Trump's reelection, Bloomberg equated Vermont senator Bernie Sanders' policies to communism.

"Let's talk about democratic socialism, not communism, Mr. Bloomberg," said a visibly offended Sanders. "That was a cheap shot."

The cohort's Midwestern candidates, former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, sparred among themselves while competing for the party's centrist votes.

Klobuchar took aim at Buttigieg's lack of experience on a national level.



Buttigieg resurfaced Klobuchar's record on immigration, including her votes to confirm a head of Customs and Border Protection under President Donald Trump and making English the official language of the US.

In addition, to her inability to name Mexico's president in a recent interview.

"Are you trying to say that I'm dumb? Are you mocking me here, Pete?" Klobuchar responded.

Buttigieg also had a row with Sanders, after both found themselves leading the race thanks to strong boosts from New Hampshire and Iowa.

Along with calling Sanders and Bloomberg "the two most polarising figures on this stage", Buttigieg took a swipe at both by stating the party needs to "wake up" and "put forward someone who's actually a Democrat".

Though the candidates engaged in much-expected bickering, the friction clouded their stances on key issues.

The debate's moderators brought up many topics, including foreign policy, which went virtually unaddressed by the presidential hopefuls.


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