Elizabeth Warren did not come to play during the Las Vegas debate, and during the first few minutes of the debate she absolutely savaged former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. This was certainly a different Warren than what we’ve been used to, but she absolutely handed Bloomberg his own behind last night. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins runs down the debate and why it went exactly as it should have for Bloomberg.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Last night on the debate stage in Las Vegas, Nevada, American citizens who aren’t from New York really got their first taste of who Michael Bloomberg really is. It wasn’t in one of his well polished ads that he’s paying millions to run all over the country. This was the unfiltered Michael Bloomberg who didn’t have a script to run off of just himself in front of everyone, and it went exactly as we should have hoped it went, which is Mike Bloomberg failed miserably and give credit where it’s due. Right? One of the biggest reasons Michael Bloomberg failed so hard on that debate stage is because of Elizabeth Warren. Elizabeth Warren last night had her absolute best debate performance ever. She didn’t come to play. Elizabeth Warren came to that debate stage to draw blood, to draw blood from as many people on that stage as humanly possible and she did. I mean, she opened up the night by saying this.

She said, I’d like to talk about who we’re running against. A billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse faced lesbians. And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about mayor Bloomberg. So right off the bat, Elizabeth Warren had the knives out ready to shiv, Michael Bloomberg right next to her and she did and it hurt. He struggled to come up with anything to say about that. He looked confused, disheveled and unprepared all night long. And here’s the thing, he was also grilled about his stop and frisk comments. He’s had over a week to come up with a good response for it because he knew it was coming up last night and he didn’t even have it. In fact, he tacitly defended the program saying that, oh, I mean I inherited it but it did reduce crime and, you know, crime went down and I’m so sorry for it but it seems to have kind of worked a little bit. If that’s the best you got, you’re screwed man.

You are absolutely in deep trouble. Now, he was also asked partly by Elizabeth Warren again, about all his comments about women too, because after all the racist stuff came out, then the misogynistic stuff came out in the past week and, you know, all the NDAs that he is forcing women to sign. And asked if he would release those women from the NDAs. He wouldn’t commit and he said, well, I mean I guess it’s up to the women. Asked about his horrible comments and all the accusations of harassment and assault against him. Michael Bloomberg offered several different options for answers, including that’s just how I, you know, grew up. That’s just the way things used to be. Some of it is just women who just didn’t like my jokes.

You’re actually trying to all of this, like, right here in the heart of the me too movement. You’re trying to say, well, I mean these women just kind of need to shape up a little bit. Right? I was just joking around and they couldn’t handle it. Like, you know, when you told the employee to kill it, when she told you she was pregnant, was that just a joke that she didn’t get? Did that go over head? You’re a disgusting pig, Michael Bloomberg and the whole world got to see it last night. In spite of his horrible performance in the debate, Bloomberg’s campaign, campaign manager, Kevin Sheekey, released a statement following the debate saying, you know you’re a winner when you’re drawing attacks from all the candidates. Everyone came to destroy Mike tonight. It didn’t happen. Everyone wanted him to lose his cool. He didn’t do it. He was the grownup in the room.

No, he was the man who looked like he bought himself a spot on that stage and didn’t know what to do with it once he purchased it. That’s what happened. I think you are delusional if you walked away from that debate and thought, you know what, Michael Bloomberg did pretty good. Pretty good guy. I think he’s great. It wasn’t just the Bloomberg show though. Even though every single candidate on that stage did launch into some pretty devastating attacks against Bloomberg, none quite as vicious and awesome as what Elizabeth Warren did though. I got to say, I’m still firmly supporting Bernie Sanders, but Elizabeth Warren won that debate. She absolutely did and she had me up until she started taking some really unfair and to be honest, untrue shots at Bernie Sanders. But aside from that, she came to destroy and part of the reason is because she had to. This debate for Elizabeth Warren was kind of a, a last ditch effort.

You know, she did not do well in Iowa and New Hampshire. So if she didn’t come out guns blazing in this debate, that likely would have been the end of it for her, but her solid performance there may be just enough to get her back up in the polls and possibly win a couple States or, you know, come in something better than fourth place, which could keep her campaign alive. She knew she needed to perform and she lived up to that expectation. Now, Biden, Biden spoke I think two or three different times where he didn’t mention Barack Obama by name. Every other time that man was asked a question, part of his response included working with Barack Obama, working with Barack Obama. I worked with Barack Obama. Obama trusted me to do this. Obama sent me out to do this. Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama. That is all he has. It’s honestly sad at this point because that is all he is trying to do is remind people like, hey, remember Obama?

I was pretty cool with him. I worked with him one time. We were good friends and that’s it. That is all Joe Biden has. It’s sad and pathetic and definitely not a credential to be the next president of the United States. We had some barbs between Klobuchar and Buttigieg. Buttigieg correctly called out Amy Klobuchar because she, you know, pretty horrible when it comes to her votes in the Senate. She votes for Donald Trump’s judicial picks, which Klobuchar tried to counter by saying, aha, I voted against two thirds of them. Well, that means you still voted for one third of them and that’s still pretty dang awful, Amy. Like I wouldn’t even brag about that, but nonetheless you did. It’s a thing that happened. Your votes are horrible. You started to get very nervous and angry, which showed in your voice and your mannerisms. I was watching the debate with my wife and she has not been interested in any of the things going on.

Doesn’t pay attention to most of it, but she actually pointed out to me that you could tell the point when Amy Klobuchar started to get either, it was either nervous or anger because she would start like, you could see your head kind of shaking a little bit and her voice would start to quiver and my wife pointed that out to me. She’s like, if I noticed that and I’m not even paying attention to this, other people are noticing it and it’s going to turn them off and that’s not something I had thought about. It’s not something I put a whole lot of stock into, but she noticed it and if she noticed it while she was reading a book next to me on the couch, I guarantee you other folks noticed it as well. They saw that she got flustered, she couldn’t handle the tough questions about her own voting history and it didn’t end well for her. One of the biggest takeaways from the night you had at the very end of the debate, moderators ask the question about the, you know, contested convention.

Suppose, they say, not one single candidate gets enough pledge delegates to win the first round of voting at the convention and according to the DNC rules at that point, then they go to a second ballot and the superdelegates come in. Right? Those unelected people who can just vote for whoever the heck they want to. Would you support, you know, the superdelegates coming in and basically making the decision if one candidate does not meet the delegate threshold in the first ballot? And everyone on that stage, with the exception of Bernie Sanders said, yeah, we’re okay with that. We’re fine with it. We’re fine with these unelected people, the people who can do whatever, to quite literally change the outcome, change the will of the voters themselves. Because even if one candidate does not have enough delegates to meet that threshold, there’s still going to be somebody who has the most delegates, meaning they were the person most people chose, and the superdelegates can come in on that second ballot and take it away.

And Bernie Sanders was the only one who said no, that’s a horrible idea. Now all the Bernie haters came out this morning on Twitter and said, well, you voted to make that happen. You were part of the rules committee and this is what you chose and now you’re saying it’s bad. No, Bernie wanted the superdelegates gone altogether. A lot of us did, but the DNC wasn’t willing to do that. So they compromised and said, we won’t get rid of them altogether, but we just won’t do them on the first ballot. But any subsequent ballot, yeah, we’ll bring them back. That was the best concession Bernie Sanders could get from them on it. So he took it. It wasn’t his idea to do that. He wanted them gone forever. A thing of the past as they should be. So stop with your nonsensical attacks on Bernie with this.

They defended fracking, most of the candidates on stage, including the moderators too. But the moderators, I will say this, they did better than I thought they would. I thought they were going to be completely awful and they were only slightly awful and most of that was only reserved for Chuck Todd. Chuck Todd was absolutely horrendous. Everybody else actually pretty okay. I enjoyed them. But defending fracking, you know, from people like Klobuchar and Bloomberg, oh, it’s a transition fuel. No, there’s no such thing as a transition fuel people. That is a fancy term that people placed on fossil fuels to make it seem like, well this is going to get us, you know, over the bridge, the bridge fuel to renewable energy. But it’s, but it’s totally not. It’s absolutely not. Maybe if you had done it 20 years ago and we were actually trying to cross that bridge to get to renewable energy, maybe it would have been okay.

It’s still one of the dirtiest forms of energy though, by the way. We shouldn’t be doing it at all. Bernie Sanders is right about that. But we passed the time where it was okay if we went to a transition fuel and then to renewable. Now, because we screwed ourselves so poorly, we have to immediately jump across that bridge. There really is no time we have to go to renewable. We can’t just say, well, we’ll screw around for 20 years with this transition fuel that’s still just as dirty as coal, not how this works. So those are my big takeaways from the Democratic debate. Elizabeth Warren, absolutely won. Bernie Sanders was a close second. Joe Biden didn’t embarrass himself, so I would give him third. Buttigieg, I would say probably came in fourth. He had some good barbs out there. He had some very unfair attacks on Sanders lying about the cost of his plans and things like that.

And he also though, I do want to point out, Buttigieg is out there saying like, well, you know, I’m, I’m the, I’m the best out here because you know, Bloomberg’s trying to buy it. Bernie wants to burn it down. So let’s go with somebody who’s in the middle and that’s me. And he offered nothing but platitudes, couldn’t really even identify plans that he has on what he’d like to do, even when the moderators pressed him on it. He couldn’t come up with a single policy just, well gosh darn it, look at me here. Stuck in the middle of a guy who wants to buy it and a guy who wants to burn it down and then there’s me. No, you’re awful. Like I walked away from that debate with more disdain for you then I think I had for Michael Bloomberg because you have nothing to offer the American public. We know what Michael Bloomberg is all about. We know what Bernie’s about. We know what Biden’s about and Klobuchar, but we don’t know what you’re about because you’re just a little too sneaky. And something about that to me is just highly suspicious and I don’t trust you at all. So nevertheless, I would still give Buttigieg fourth place. Klobuchar, a very low fifth, and Bloomberg, of course, was the worst person on the stage.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced