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Who said it: “Fat broads” and “horse-faced lesbians”

Elizabeth Warren points out that Mike Bloomberg sounds an awful lot like Trump.

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren participate in the ninth Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 19, 2020.
Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images
Emily Stewart covers business and economics for Vox and writes the newsletter The Big Squeeze, examining the ways ordinary people are being squeezed under capitalism. Before joining Vox, she worked for TheStreet.

Elizabeth Warren has no time for Mike Bloomberg. Are you even a little surprised?

The Massachusetts Democrat, who has relished fights with billionaires throughout her campaign, wasted no time in taking on the former New York City mayor at Wednesday night’s debate in Las Vegas. Even though the first questions went to Bernie Sanders and Bloomberg, Warren was eager to jump in, and when she did, she landed a well-practiced hit.

“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians,’” she said. “And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”

The “horse-faced lesbians” comment appears to be a reference to a 1990 booklet, “Wit and Wisdom,” of Bloomberg’s supposed sayings compiled by his former colleagues and employees for his birthday.

It had the air of moderator Megyn Kelly’s Republican primary debate moment four years ago with then-candidate Trump, where she asked him about calling women “pigs” and “slobs,” among other things.

Warren continued:

Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop and frisk. Look, I’ll support whoever the Democratic nominee is, but understand this: Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another. This country has worked for the rich for a long time, and left everyone else in the dirt. It is time to have a president who will be on the side of working families and be willing to get out there and fight for them. That is why I am in this race. And that is how I will beat Donald Trump.

Bloomberg didn’t directly address Warren’s remarks, but he did defend himself overall. He said he believes he’s the candidate who can beat Trump and who can do the job when he gets to the White House, touting his 12 years as mayor, his business success, and his philanthropic endeavors. “I am a New Yorker; I know how to take on an arrogant con man like Donald Trump,” he said.

Warren wasn’t the only one to take aim at Bloomberg — the New York businessman with a fortune of more than $50 billion, who has leveraged $400 million of ad spending to third place in the primary nationally, was something of a unifying target for the other candidates. But if you’re curious about whether Liz likes Mike, she does not. And it’s not at all surprising.

Warren has spent much of her career as an academic and in politics fighting against moneyed interests. She’s campaigning on a sweeping anti-corruption message, and one of her signature agenda items is a wealth tax on the ultrarich. Billionaires and super-wealthy people have been complaining about Warren throughout her campaign, including JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and hedge funder Leon Cooperman, and Warren has leaned in.

Her campaign has been selling “Billionaire Tears” mugs for months and launched a billionaire calculator for people to tabulate how much they would owe under her “ultramillionaire tax” proposal. Among the billionaires the site links to in order to help them figure out how much they would owe: Cooperman, Bill Gates, and, of course, Bloomberg.

Warren has been struggling in the polls recently, especially in comparison to her rise in the fall of 2019, and she needed some big moments on Wednesday. Bloomberg is a perfect foil for her, and she appeared ready to take him on.