Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Democratic presidential hopefuls Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren participate in the ninth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season at the Paris Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 19, 2020. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images)

Warren Says Democrats Must Oppose Billionaire Who Calls Women 'Fat Broads' and 'Horse-Faced Lesbians' (She Wasn't Talking About Trump)

"We're not going to beat Donald Trump with a man who silences women with who knows how many non-disclosure agreements."

Jake Johnson

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the presidential debate stage Wednesday night implored Democrats to oppose a billionaire businessman with a long history of sexist remarks and numerous accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace.

She was referring to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, not President Donald Trump.

Warren argued that Democrats cannot defeat Trump, who himself has a well-publicized record of mistreating and insulting women, by nominating a candidate with a similar history.

"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," the Massachusetts senator said. "Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop and frisk."

"Look, I'll support whoever the Democratic nominee is," Warren added. "But understand this: Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another."

Bloomberg responded that at his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, "the person that runs it's a woman, 70 percent of the people there are women."

"In my company, lots and lots of women have big responsibilities," said Bloomberg, the co-founder and CEO of Bloomberg L.P.

Warren hit back, saying Bloomberg's reply "just doesn't cut it."

"I hope you heard what his defense was: 'I've been nice to some women,'" Warren said. "The mayor has to stand on his record. And what we need to know is exactly what's lurking out there. He has gotten some number of women, dozens, who knows, to sign non-disclosure agreements both for sexual harassment and for gender discrimination in the workplace."

After Warren pressed Bloomberg on whether he would be willing to "release all of those women from those non-disclosure agreements," Bloomberg refused to make such a commitment and downplayed the workplace complaints against him.

"None of them accuse me of doing anything, other than maybe they didn't like a joke I told," Bloomberg said, a remark that was met with noises of disapproval from the audience.

Current Affairs editor Nathan Robinson wrote in a lengthy article on Bloomberg's record earlier this month that the billionaire "is one of Donald Trump's social peers, but he also shares Trump's record of crassly sexist commentary."

"Seventeen women have filed lawsuits over the years against Bloomberg's company, alleging a 'notoriously sexist and hostile work environment' with Bloomberg himself having personally 'encouraged this type of sexist and sexually charged behavior,'" Robinson noted. "According to court records, Bloomberg 'would gawk at women and say about their legs, 'I like that,' and 'defended his attitude by saying it keeps him young.' The list of sexist and crass comments goes on and on."

The comment Warren cited during the debate appears in The Portable Bloomberg, a booklet of quotes given to Bloomberg by employees on his 48th birthday in 1990.

"The Royal family—what a bunch of misfits—a gay, an architect, that horsey faced lesbian, and a kid who gave up Koo Stark for some fat broad," Bloomberg said according to the booklet, which the Washington Post published in full online earlier this month.

"Yes, these are all actual quotes," Elisabeth DeMarse, Bloomberg L.P.'s former chief marketing officer, wrote in the introduction to the booklet.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Incredible': Omar and Khanna Staffers Join Levin's Office in Unionizing

"It is long past time the United States Congress became a unionized workplace, and that includes my own staff," said Rep. Ilhan Omar. "I am proud of all the people on my team who have played a leading role in the staff unionization effort. Solidarity forever."

Jessica Corbett ·

Destructive Hurricanes Fuel Calls for Biden to Declare Climate Emergency

"Mother Nature is not waiting for the president or Congress to declare a climate emergency. She's showing us in real-time here in the United States—with wildfires, floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, and drought."

Jessica Corbett ·

Spain Approves 'Solidarity' Tax to Make Nation's Top 0.1% Pay a Fairer Share

The country's finance minister said that looming changes are bound to make the tax code "more progressive, efficient, fair, and also enough to guarantee social justice and economic efficiency."

Kenny Stancil ·

'Time to Take to the Streets': Working Class Hold 'Enough Is Enough' Rallies Across UK

"Does a CEO need an extra zero at the end of their salary—or should nurses, posties, and teachers be able to heat their homes?" said one supporter ahead of the #EnoughIsEnough National Day of Action.

Julia Conley ·

Ukraine Responds to Putin Annexations With Fast-Track NATO Application

Lamenting the lack of any progress toward a diplomatic settlement, one anti-war campaigner asked: "Will the world stand idly by as we careen towards nuclear apocalypse?"

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo