Bernie Sanders held strong, defending his Medicare for All policy and joining in attacks on a flailing Michael Bloomberg in Las Vegas. In what was the most contentious debate thus far, candidates turned their fire on each other as they looked to sharpen contrast and defend or improve their positions in the race.
Bloomberg was left looking feckless in response to attacks from both Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who savaged the former Republican New York mayor for the numerous sexual harassment allegations against him. His support for the NYPD’s stop and frisk policy, which he only disavowed just prior to entering the race, also saw him criticised roundly.
Sanders meanwhile drew plaudits, including from former contender Andrew Yang, who tweeted that the performance had clearly cemented his frontrunner status. He successfully fended off establishment media questions about his health and Medicare for All, whilst sparring with Michael Bloomberg, who at one point labelled the democratic socialist a communist.
It wasn’t the only conflict in the debate, with Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg slugging it out over experience and electability, as well as Klobuchar’s confirmation votes for some Trump judicial appointees.
On the whole both Sanders and Elizabeth Warren had a good night alongside a fiery Klobuchar, whilst Biden and Buttigieg also landed some blows, barring Bloomberg who was seemingly exposed as a candidate who was big on cash but lacking in substance of debate stage gravitas.