Democrat presidential hopeful and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted to crack jokes at the Democrat presidential primary debate in South Carolina on Tuesday night, and received little laughter and applause from audience members.
Bloomberg’s remarks came shortly after a spar with his challenger Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on redlining, in which the senator hinted that the former New York mayor is a racist liar.
Let me also say since I have the floor for a second that I really am surprised that all of my fellow contestants up here, I guess would be the right word for it, given nobody pays attention to the clock. I’m surprised they showed up, because I would have thought after I did such a good job in beating them last week that they’d be a little bit afraid to do that.
Before his attempt at making the first joke, Bloomberg refuted Warren’s claims and said he “fought against” redlining and pointed to his record as New York City mayor as evidence.
After his first joke failed, Bloomberg directed the conversation back to affordable housing and discussed what he did to improve the system.
“Let me just say, when you’re talking about affordable housing, we created 175,000 units of affordable housing in New York City,” Bloomberg said, before adding that those in Congress must learn to “work with both sides of the aisle.”
Bloomberg also touted his ability to get “the Republican state senate to vote for gay marriage, virtually before anybody else in this country.”
In addition to his joke aimed at his challengers, Bloomberg also took a shot at New York City’s infamous “Naked Cowboy,” who only wears only cowboy boots, a hat, and white briefs, with a guitar draped around his neck to give the impression that he is nude.
“I think what’s right for New York City isn’t necessarily right for all the other cities, otherwise you’d have a naked cowboy in every city,” Bloomberg said.
Earlier this month, Katie Couric made an appearance on Bill Maher’s show and claimed that a Bloomberg campaign member told her they were “hiring an expert on narcissism” and “combining that person with a comedy writer to get in Donald Trump’s head.”
After his remarks, social media users took to Twitter to blast Bloomberg and his “comedy writers.”
“Wonder if we’ll find out who that Bloomberg comedy writer is now,” questioned CNN contributor Scott Jennings:
Wonder if we'll find out who that Bloomberg comedy writer is now? #DemDebate
— Scott Jennings (@ScottJenningsKY) February 26, 2020
“Reminder: Bloomberg paid comedy writers to write that hilarious ‘joke’ about how well he did last week,” wrote Jon Bershad. “That’s not a knock against his policies. It’s just tremendously sad”:
Reminder: Bloomberg paid comedy writers to write that hilarious "joke" about how well he did last week.
That's not a knock against his policies. It's just tremendously sad.#DemDebate
— Jon Bershad (@JonBershad) February 26, 2020
“Which comedy writer penned that terrible bloomberg ‘joke,'” wrote Daily Beast editor Marlow Stern:
which comedy writer penned that terrible bloomberg "joke" #demdebate
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) February 26, 2020
“The issue with the bloomberg campaign hiring a comedy writer is that he ended up hiring the kind of comedy writer who would go to work for michael bloomberg,” wrote Rob Flaherty, former Vice President Joe Biden’s digital director:
the issue with the bloomberg campaign hiring a comedy writer is that he ended up hiring the kind of comedy writer who would go to work for michael bloomberg https://t.co/vbg8mNPNCI
— Rob Flaherty (@Rob_Flaherty) February 25, 2020
Others on social media stated they hoped Bloomberg’s writer had “already cashed that check.”