Elizabeth Warren branded Mike Bloomberg “a billionaire who calls people fat broads and horse-faced lesbians”, during Wednesday evening’s Democratic presidential debate.
Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York mayor, was forced to defend his record and past comments related to race, gender and his personal wealth in his first debate appearance of the campaign.
Warren, whose bid to become the Democratic nominee to take on Donald Trump has faltered, launched a stinging attack on Bloomberg on stage in Las Vegas.
“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians,’” Warren said.
“And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about mayor Bloomberg.”
The US senator said her party was taking a “huge risk” if it decided to “substitute one arrogant billionaire for another”.
The Washington Post has uploaded a booklet of alleged Bloomberg quotes, including him having said: “The royal family. What a bunch of misfits. A gay, an architect, that horse-faced lesbian, and kid who gave up Koo Stark for some fat broad.”
A spokesperson for Bloomberg said of the pamphlet: “Mike simply did not say the things somebody wrote in this gag gift, which has been circulating for 30 years and has been quoted in every previous election Mike has been in.”
Other candidates on the stage also rounded on Bloomberg, who is pitching himself as a centrist more likely to win broad support in the country.
Bernie Sanders, the left-wing senator seen as the frontrunner in the race, lashed out at Bloomberg’s policing policies as New York City mayor which he said targeted “African-Americans and Latinos in an outrageous way”.
Joe Biden, the former vice president whose campaign is also in deep trouble, alleged that Bloomberg’s “stop-and-frisk” policy ended up “throwing five million black men up against the wall”.
Bloomberg, who has pumped millions of his own dollars into his campaign for the presidency, said he did not think there was “any chance” of Sanders beating Trump. “The best known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses,” he said.
The debate was held ahead of the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, the third state to vote in the nomination race after Iowa and New Hampshire.