'But I beat him anyway': Warren continues onslaught against Bloomberg ahead of debate - updates

\'But I beat him anyway\': Warren continues onslaught against Bloomberg ahead of debate - updates  

Tonight's Democratic debate in South Carolina is expected to get some fireworks. Follow along with our coverage here.

Sanders: Doesn't everybody still love me?

Anticipating he will be the target at tonight's debate, Bernie Sanders sent out a mocking tweet just minutes before the festivities began in Charleston.

It was a video of the other candidates praising him in the past.

"Looking forward to hearing more enthusiastic support from my opponents tonight," Sanders.

- David Jackson

Look for Sanders to take heat tonight over guns

Mike Bloomberg took most of the criticism at last week's debate in Las Vegas, but there are signs that tonight's South Carolina face-off will put someone else in the barrel: Front-runner Bernie Sanders.

Bloomberg, Joe Biden and their aides served notice that the victor in New Hampshire and Nevada will be called upon, again, to explain his record on guns.

"Ban assault weapons," Biden tweeted an hour before the debate. "Enact universal background checks. Hold gun manufacturers accountable. End our gun violence epidemic."

Bloomberg also tweeted ahead of the contest that "on the debate stage tonight, I hope we get a chance to talk about something I've dedicated my life to: ending gun violence."

Sanders, who has voted against gun control measures during his congressional career, has said he represented the views of his gun ownership constituency in Vermont.

But Sanders, criticized on the gun issue by Hillary Clinton during their 2016 primary battle, has also said he has "evolved" on the issue - and will likely echo that argument tonight in Charleston.

Bloomberg's damage control

One of the toughest hits Michael Bloomberg took in last week's debate was Elizabeth Warren's pressure to end the non-disclosure agreements between his company and women who raised complaints about how they were treated.

Two days later, Bloomberg agreed to release three women from their confidentiality agreements. The women had complained about comments he'd made, according to the campaign.

Bloomberg is now running ads featuring praise from other women who've worked for him.

"There's nobody that I respect more and felt more respected by," one woman says.

Reporting by ABC News, The Washington Post and other outlets previously revealed a history of allegations of sexism, pregnancy discrimination and a hostile work environment in Bloomberg's company.

His longtime partner, Diana Taylor, was plainspoken when asked by CBS Monday to respond to those bothered by the allegations against Bloomberg and bothered by his response to the issue at last week's debate.

"It was 30 years ago," she said. "Get over it."

Bloomberg's campaign later said Taylor was offering her personal view and was not speaking for the campaign.

--Maureen Groppe

Billionaire Bloomberg has spent more than $100 million on digital ads per report

Michael Bloomberg who has suggested he might pony up as much as $1 billion of his own fortune to defeat President Donald Trump, has outspent his Democratic primary opponents when it comes to digital advertising.


With South Carolina's Saturday primary approaching as well as the 14 Super Tuesday states three days later, the former New York City mayor has coughed up more than $101 million in digital ads across the country, according to an analysis by the liberal advocacy group ACRONYM.

More than 60 percent of Bloomberg's on-line spending has been in Michigan, according to the analysis, which covers the period through Feb. 16. The analysis does not include campaign spending by candidates on television and radio.

The rest of the Democratic field has collectively spent about $88 million on digital advertising with Tom Steyer ($29.9 million), Bernie Sanders ($15.7 million), Pete Buttigieg ($15.4 million) and Elizabeth Warren ($12.2) rounding out the top five.

The analysis shows Bloomberg also has spent more than twice the $44 million Trump has committed.

- Ledyard King

Warren is still gunning for Bloomberg

As Elizabeth Warren eviscerated Michael Bloomberg in last week's debate, a Wikipedia user edited Bloomberg's page to say he had died of wounds inflicted by Warren.

The Massachusetts senators raised millions of dollars after her performance, although pundits noted that it's Bernie Sanders who is blocking Warren's path for the nomination more than Bloomberg.

We don't know what she'll do on stage Tuesday. But she is out with an ad attacking Bloomberg that's running in Super Tuesday states.

"You've probably seen more ads for Michael Bloomberg than the rest of us running for president put together," she says in the ad. "Big money is powerful. But it doesn't always win."

The example she gives is her 2012 Senate race in which Bloomberg supported the campaign of her GOP opponent.

"But I beat him anyway," Warren says.

- Maureen Groppe

Democrats expected to make Sanders "feel the burn" on debate stage

Fresh off a dominating win in the Nevada Caucuses Saturday, Bernie Sanders ascends the debate stage Tuesday night in Charleston, S.C., with a bullseye on his back.

Not only has the Vermont senator emerged as the early frontrunner but his controversial comments he made praising aspects of Fidel Castro's Cuba has already drawn sharp criticism from his opponents, notable former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Sanders' remarks during an interview with "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday night is expected to be a topic his rivals will raise during the debate if the moderators don't bring it up first.

The two-hour debate, which starts at 8 p.m., is being co-hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus institute.

Cuba controversy: Sanders praises some of Castro's policies, angering Republicans and Democrats in Florida

Palmetto punch: Why GOP-friendly South Carolina is still a key state for Democratic presidential hopefuls

Aside from Sanders and Bloomberg, the stage will feature former vice president Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, California businessman Tom Steyer, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Steyer missed the last debate in Las Vegas but qualified for the one in South Carolina where he's spent millions to keep his flagging campaign hopes alive. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii did not qualify to appear in Charleston.

South Carolina's primary is Saturday. Most polls show Biden with a slight lead over Sanders with Steyer coming in third. Bloomberg is not on the ballot but he and the other Democrats on stage will be when voters in the 14 states that make up Super Tuesday three days later go to the polls.

Tuesday's debate could be the last for several candidates who might not be able to keep their campaigns afloat without a strong showing on Super Tuesday.

Positions: 2020 candidates on the issues: A voter's guide to where they stand on health care, gun control and more

Interactive guide: Who is running for president in 2020? An interactive guide

The calendar: When are the 2020 presidential election primaries?

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Democratic debate: Will Bloomberg again take bulk of attacks


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