Trump mocked Biden’s ‘awful facelift,’ brushed off Pete Buttigieg and cheered Mike Bloomberg’s debate flop while insisting ‘I am going to stay the president’ during the primaries, book claims
- After seeing Michael Bloomberg get pummeled on the Las Vegas Democratic debate stage, former President Donald Trump viewed himself as a shoo-in
- In Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender’s new book, the journalist details how Trump watched the February 19, 2020 debate with reporters
- ‘Bloomberg was smart, but not quick. Biden had an awful facelift. Bernie was sharp, and Warren was a good debater, even though she was nasty,’ Bender said
- Trump was impressed by now Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s performance despite previously saying ‘Buttigieg? That f***ing guy? Nah’
After seeing Michael Bloomberg get pummeled on the Las Vegas Democratic debate stage, former President Donald Trump viewed himself as a shoo-in for the November presidential election.
Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender recalled in his new book Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost how Trump had invited reporters to watch the February 19, 2020 debate with him aboard Air Force One, as they flew back from a Trump rally that night in Phoenix.
‘Trump then started offering his own color commentary: Bloomberg was smart, but not quick. Biden had an awful facelift. Bernie was sharp, and Warren was a good debater, even though she was nasty,’ Bender wrote.
Former President Donald Trump thought he was a shoo-in for a second term after watching the Las Vegas Democratic debate on February 19, 2020. Trump appeared at a rally in Phoenix (pictured) that night and then watched the debate with reporters on the flight back
Trump invited reporters to the front cabin of Air Force One to watch the Democratic debate with him on the trip, where he made fun of now President Joe Biden’s ‘awful facelift.’ Here he’s seen earlier in the day arriving in Phoenix for his rally
Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender’s new book Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost
‘He thought Pete Buttigieg was articulate, and seemed to surprise himself with repeated praise for the former South Bend mayor,’ Bender continued.
In a previous conversation that month, Trump had asked pollster Tony Fabrizio who he was most worried about in the Democratic pack.
‘Buttigieg,’ Fabrizio replied.
Trump brushed that off.
‘Buttigieg? That f***ing guy?’ Trump said. ‘Nah.’
Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, won the Iowa caucuses by the traditional metric, and then came in a close second to Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire.
Bloomberg decided to skip the early primary states – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina – and compete for delegates on Super Tuesday, on March 3, instead.
For weeks in January and February, as the specter of the Bloomberg candidacy hung over Trump’s re-election campaign, the president would ask everyone who walked through the Oval, ‘What do you think of Bloomberg?’ Bender’s book said.
Bender wrote that Trump enjoyed watching Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg (pictured) get creamed on the debate stage by Sen. Elizabeth Warren. In the run-up to the debate Trump asked all his advisers if he should be worried about Bloomberg
Trump also said, according to Bender, that Sen. Bernie Sanders (left) was ‘sharp.’ He mocked Biden’s ‘awful facelift’ and was impressed by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s (right) performance after previously discounting the ex-mayor’s candidacy
But on the Nevada debate stage, the former New York City mayor and tech billionaire got flattened by Sen. Elizabeth Warren over non-disclosure agreements he had female employees sign.
Bender wrote that the ‘clear highlight for Trump was Bloomberg melting down when fellow Democrats onstage, led by Warren, skewered him over his history of sexual harassment allegations and his past support for aggressive police tactics like stop‐and‐frisk.’
‘Trump crowed at every stammer he saw onscreen,’ Bender said, quoting the then-president saying that Bloomberg ‘stutters like Biden!’
At the end of the quick flight between Arizona and Nevada, as Trump always overnighted at his Las Vegas hotel when campaigning out west, he expressed to his traveling press corps how he thought the election would turn out.
‘I’m the president and I’m going to stay the president,’ Trump shouted at them. ‘And you’re finally starting to realize that!’