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Bloomberg’s debate boast sparks question: Should buying 21 seats in Congress be investigated?

(Image: CBS News screenshot)

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Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg was torched for seeming to admit that he “bought” 21 seats in Congress that put Democrats back in charge of the House.

The billionaire and 2020 Democratic hopeful set off a wave of criticism for what many called a “Freudian slip” he made during Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate as he bragged about his financial influence on previous elections.

Sebastian Gorka, former adviser to President Donald Trump, questioned whether “buying 21 seats in Congress” should be “something to investigate,” in a tweet featuring a video clip from the moment Bloomberg made the slip of the tongue.

Bloomberg was touting his own record on the debate stage in South Carolina, claiming he helped Democrats retake the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, when he seemed to catch and correct himself.

“They talk about 40 Democrats, 21 of those are people that I spent $100 million to help elect,” Bloomberg said. “All of the new Democrats that came in put [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi in charge and gave Congress the ability to control this president.”

“I bought — I, I got them,” he added, moving on to make his point.

But the slip was not missed by viewers who quickly called it out on social media.

“Wow!!! He’s admitting he BOUGHT those seats! OMG!” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted.

Bloomberg’s gaffe did nothing to help the contention of critics who have accused him of trying to buy the presidency. The reactions poured in on Twitter.

Bloomberg advisor Howard Wolfson told the Washington Examiner, “I didn’t hear that,” when asked about the former mayor’s onstage slip-up.

“You know, I’m not really sure what he was trying to say,” Jeff Weaver, top aide for Sen. Bernie Sanders, said. “I think to many people it sounded like that. But he corrected himself in the process. It’s hard to know what someone intends to say. It’s a very stressful environment.”

Others were sure it was a telling moment for Bloomberg, who has spent more than $500 million in campaign advertising.

Frieda Powers


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