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.

Groups Warn US Lawmakers Against Fueling 'New Cold War' With China

A policy of hostility toward Beijing, says a global justice advocate, has "become a convenient excuse for pushing a corporate, militarist agenda."

Jessica Corbett ·


To 'Hold Her Accountable for What She Did,' Primary Sinema Project Gets Into Gear

"Kyrsten Sinema is unfit to be a United States senator," the project asserts. "Just like the filibuster itself, we need to get rid of her if we want to save our democracy before it's too late."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Outpaced Trump on Drilling Permits in First Year

"Avoiding catastrophic climate change requires ending new fossil fuel extraction," said one advocate, "but Biden is racing in the opposite direction."

Kenny Stancil ·


First Stop for Cuellar After FBI Raid? An Anti-Choice Event

"Despite being under an FBI investigation," said progressive primary challenger Jessica Cisneros, the congressman from Texas "has once again proven that nothing can stop him from opposing our reproductive rights and freedoms."

Brett Wilkins ·


House Calls Big Oil Board Members to Testify on 'Phony' Net-Zero Pledges

"It's critical that Congress holds these companies accountable and exposes the industry's fake climate pledges for the fraud that they are," said one supporter of Democrats' probe.

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo