Yes, America, you heard Mike Bloomberg right.
In what appeared to be a telling slip of the tongue, the billionaire ex-mayor appeared to start to say he “bought” the Congress that impeached President Trump with $100 million in campaign support to victorious Democratic candidates.
“I bo—,” Bloomberg said before catching himself. “I got them in.”
Bloomberg’s verbal misstep slipped by unnoticed in real-time among his rivals on stage at the scrappy debate in South Carolina.
But Donald Trump Jr. jumped on it immediately.
“Wow!!! He’s admitting he BOUGHT those seats!” the president’s son tweeted as he live-tweeted the debate.
Bloomberg’s campaign suggested that the billionaire was really starting to say “back” not “bought.” But it defended his vast war chest as an invaluable weapon.
“The point remains, what was the outcome? Mike spent a lot of money getting behind Democrats … to help turn the house blue,” Tim O’Brien, a senior Bloomberg aide told CNN.
Bloomberg has already spent $400 million on ads seeking to win the Democratic nomination and has vowed to spend $1 billion or more to oust Trump.
Some Democratic voters see the virtually unlimited spending as a huge edge in a fight against Trump. But others are openly critical of what they call Bloomberg’s effort to buy the nomination.
For Democratic rivals, the slip could open the door to a wider debate about Bloomberg’s support for Republicans senators like Lindsey Graham and Pat Toomey, whose votes have helped Trump install Brett Kavanaugh at the Supreme Court and block witnesses from his impeachment trial.
Elizabeth Warren indignantly confronted Bloomberg about his support for Sen. Scott Brown, the Republican whom she defeated in a hard-fought 2012 battle.
But Bloomberg’s campaign insists he did the right thing by backing Republicans, although O’Brien declined to defend his backing for Graham or his controversial support for George W. Bush’s reelection in 2004.
“Mike was very proud of his support of Pat Toomey,” O’Brien said. “And he’s on issues supported Republicans in other areas when it aligned with his values.”
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