Bloomberg Qualifies For Debate, Faces Attacks On Stop-And-Frisk Policy And Sexist Comments

Democratic presidential candidate, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during a press conference to discuss his presidential run on November 25, 2019 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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February 18, 2020 10:41 a.m.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has qualified to appear on the 2020 primary debate stage on Wednesday night after having reached the Democratic National Committee’s required polling threshold.

“Mike is looking forward to joining the other Democratic candidates on stage and making the case for why he’s the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump and unite the country,” Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s campaign manager, said in an emailed statement to TPM.

The DNC eliminated its donor requirement in early February for the debates, to the anger of Bloomberg’s rivals, who accused the DNC of greasing the wheels for the billionaire’s self-funded campaign.

The other candidates have signaled that they’re ready to pounce on the former mayor’s racially biased stop-and-frisk policy that primarily targeted young black and Latino men in New York City, which Bloomberg defended in a leaked 2015 audio tape while claiming minority neighborhoods are “where all the crime is.”

The other presidential hopefuls will also likely zero in on Bloomberg’s shockingly misogynistic comments as CEO of Bloomberg LP, such as saying he’d “like to do that piece of meat” in reference to certain female employees and telling an saleswoman to “kill it” when she mentioned she was pregnant.

NBC News and MSNBC will host the debate at 9 p.m. EST in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday, days before the state’s caucuses begin.

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