Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher)
By all accounts except his campaign’s, Michael Bloomberg had a terrible debate performance last night in Las Vegas. But in the midst of all the infighting and the rapid-fire attacks, the former NYC mayor managed to land a few solid jabs against Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
One such instance was after Sanders defended his belief in socialism when he was asked about a recent NBC poll that noted two-thirds of voters were not comfortable with having a socialist for a presidential nominee. Sanders went on a rant typical of a socialist about so-called “income and wealth inequality” and how the rich only get richer while the middle class and poor supposedly don’t get the same benefit.
“When Walmart — we have to subsidize Walmart’s workers who are on Medicaid and food stamps because the wealthiest family in America pays starvation wages, that’s socialism for the rich. I believe in democratic socialism for working people, not billionaires, health care for all, educational opportunities for all,” Sanders said emphatically.
But what Bloomberg noted in response tripped Sanders’ trigger – because it was a little too close to home … quite literally:
BLOOMBERG: What a wonderful country we have. The best known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses. What did I miss here?
SANDERS: Well, you’ll miss that I work in Washington, house one.
BLOOMBERG: That’s the first problem.
SANDERS: Live in Burlington, house two.
BLOOMBERG: That’s good.
SANDERS: And like thousands of other Vermonters, I do have a summer camp. Forgive me for that. Where is your home? Which tax haven do you have your home?
BLOOMBERG: New York City, thank you very much, and I pay all my taxes. And I’m happy to do it because I get something for it.
After this exchange, Poltico’s digital editor Zack Stanton tweeted the link to a 2019 piece they did that reported on how Sanders could afford his three homes, including his $575,000 “summer camp”:
More, from @michaelkruse: "the summer house … with rustic wood sides, a silver-colored tin roof, four bedrooms and 500 feet of waterfront that Bernie and Jane Sanders bought for $575,000, cash, through an entity they created called the Islands Trust."https://t.co/AvoxjGQsX1
— Zack Stanton (@zackstanton) February 20, 2020
As you might expect, this made some Bernie Bros mighty unhappy because narratives and stuff. Fortunately, this was one of those instances where they got dunked in real time with sensible responses that very likely left them confused and scratching their heads:
I agree. Nobody should be attacking him for earning money and living well. He should be called out as a hypocrite though.
— ALTreclaimedhome (@reclaimedhome) February 20, 2020
This. The problem is not his wealth and working hard for it. The problem is his "do as I say, not as I do" attitude.
— elizagn (@elizagnnnn) February 20, 2020
Plenty people have made their money the right way. The point is I don’t see him contributing one if his houses or half of his salary as he wants expects everyone else to do. Just the same old BS, Do as I say, not as I do. GBA 🇺🇸
— Defender1994 (@Security1994) February 20, 2020
I mean, my house will cost 80k and I am considered in the middle class range. 600k is hefty… for just 1 house.
— Detrite Goober (Mike) (@Vexx102) February 20, 2020
He admits he is a socialist. It isn’t a claim. That he is a hypocritical socialist isn’t an asset.
— Janet Johnson (@JJohnsonLaw) February 20, 2020
Then there was this gem:
Bernie is the one saying it's a crime to be rich. Of course he's allowed to own multiple homes; it's legal. It's just immoral, according to Bernie.
— I. Noah Guy, CheetosForPeace.org (@Decentguyusedto) February 20, 2020
I posted my own response to Ms. Tamblyn, explaining that it’s not about whether or not Bernie is “allowed” to own more than one home. It’s that he’s a flaming hypocrite on the issue of wealth and doesn’t hold himself to the standards he wants to mandate everyone else follow.
Like most Democrats.