Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have been pummeled at a Democratic debate less than a week ago, but the crowd in South Carolina sounded surprisingly sympathetic to the billionaire candidate on Tuesday night. Attacks on Bloomberg often spurred the audience to loudly boo, while his attacks on his opponents would receive enthusiastic cheers:
I think it's a Bloomberg crowd fwiw pic.twitter.com/zQ7dfXlPg1
— Tommy X-TrumpIsARacist-opher (@tommyxtopher) February 26, 2020
The tone was so markedly different from that of the debate in Nevada that many viewers were suspicious of the authenticity of the hecklers:
how much does bloomberg pay someone to boo?
— maura quint (@behindyourback) February 26, 2020
Bloomberg got mocked and laughed at so bad at the last debate he literally paid people to come cheer for him and boo his opponents didn’t he
— Jonathan Myerson Katz (@KatzOnEarth) February 26, 2020
Did Bloomberg seed the crowd with supporters to boo Bernie because this is insane
— chris person (@Papapishu) February 26, 2020
Tickets to attend the South Carolina debate were prohibitively expensive, some have pointed out; the only way to obtain a ticket was to sponsor the debate, with such sponsorships ranging from $1,750 to $3,200 each. Whether that meant the demographic of the attendees naturally skewed toward a group that was more tolerant of billionaires — or if the hecklers' seats were being paid for by someone else — wasn't immediately clear.
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