Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg hits back at Sen. Bernie Sanders for saying he has a “grotesque” amount of money by pointing out that the Vermont senator owns three houses, at Wednesday’s MSNBC debate.
LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS: Senator Sanders, my next question is for you. Our latest NBC News “Wall Street Journal” poll released yesterday. Two-thirds of voters said they were uncomfortable with a socialist candidate for president. What do you say to those voters?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: What was the result of that poll? Who was winning?
LESTER HOLT: The question is to you.
BERNIE SANDERS: The question was, I was winning. And I think by a fairly comfortable margin. Might mention that.
Here’s the point. Let’s talk about democratic socialism. Not communism, Mr. Bloomberg. That’s a cheap shot.
Let’s talk about what goes on in countries like Denmark where Pete correctly pointed out, they have a much higher quality of life in many respects than we do. What are we talking about? We are living in many ways in a socialist society right now. The problem is, as Dr. Martin Luthor King reminded us, we have socialism for the very rich. Rugged individualism for the poor.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Wait a second.
BERNIE SANDERS: Let me finish. When Donald Trump gets $800 million in tax breaks and subsidies to build luxury condominiums, that’s socialism for the rich. We have to subsidize Walmart workers 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 opportunity for all.
LESTER HOLT: Senator, thank you. Mayor Bloomberg —
MICHAEL 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?
BERNIE SANDERS: You missed that I work in Washington, house one.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: That’s the first problem.
BERNIE SANDERS: Live in Burlington, house two. 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 live in?
MICHAEL 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. And let me say, I thought senator next to me was half right. I agree we should raise taxes.
I disagree with the senator on the wealth tax but do I agree with her that the rich aren’t paying their fair share. We should raise taxes on the rich. Did I that as mayor in New York City. I raised taxes. If you take a look at my plans, the first thing I would do is try to convince Congress. They have to do it. We can’t just order it. To roll back the tax cuts that the Obama– Trump administration put in with–through Congress.