Bloomberg Adviser: Mike Wasn’t Ready for Debate Knockout

February 20, 2020

Michael Bloomberg's campaign senior adviser Geoffrey Canada said Thursday the former New York City mayor was unprepared for his fellow candidates' attempts to "knock him out" in his first debate.

In an appearance on CNN's Right Now, Canada discussed Bloomberg's Wednesday night debate performance with host Brianna Keilar. He said the "sparring partners" Bloomberg used to prepare for the debate only made him overconfident and vulnerable, adding that the candidate "wasn't ready."

"You get in that ring and suddenly you realize that was not a real preparation for the real fight," Canada said. "Mike went into that ring last night, and they tried to knock him out. He wasn't ready for it."

Canada promised that Bloomberg would return ready for the next debate.

"This is not a real surprise to me that Mike struggled," Canada said. "You know, when you have been off the debate field for a long time, it's a little bit like a boxer who is training for a fight after not fighting for 10 years."

Bloomberg's fellow Democratic candidates unleashed an onslaught on the 78-year-old billionaire last night, accusing the former New York City mayor of sexism.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) set the tone. She opened the debate by saying, "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 crowd loudly booed Bloomberg later on when he responded to accusations of sexual harassment at his company by saying, "Maybe they didn’t like a joke I told."

Bloomberg was quick to laugh off his debate performance at a rally Thursday morning in Salt Lake City. He greeted the crowd saying, "So, how was your night last night?"