US & Canada

Democratic debate: Elizabeth Warren's attacks light up social media

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDemocratic rivals attack Bloomberg in TV debate

US Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren is being praised online for her fiery performance in a televised debate on Wednesday.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg was appearing in his first presidential debate in the contest and floundered in the face of rivals' attacks.

Ms Warren has fallen behind in the race but her attacks on Mr Bloomberg won her the debate on social media.

Bernie Sanders is currently the frontrunner to win the nomination.

The tone for the night was set when Ms Warren, a former teacher who has talked about her experiences of discrimination and unequal pay, branded Mr Bloomberg a "billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians".

She repeatedly attacked his record on women's rights, referring to private agreements he made to settle sexual harassment and hostile workplace lawsuits.

She continued her criticism in a tweet after the debate saying: "I hope you heard what Mayor Bloomberg's defence of decades of mistreatment of women was: 'I've been nice to some women.'"

The post was widely shared and #WarrenForTheWin was a top trend on Twitter on Thursday.

Memes celebrated Ms Warren's "take-down" of Mr Bloomberg.

Another compared Ms Warren to the Harry Potter heroine Hermione Granger who routinely outsmarts her male friends.

Others focussed on the gender balance in the debate, saying that it was "breath of fresh air" watching a female candidate.

In January, Ms Warren said her rival Bernie Sanders had told her a woman could not win this year's presidential election.

Mr Bloomberg's lacklustre performance also attracted comment.

The former mayor of New York raised his polling figures into double digits to qualify for the debate after spending hundreds of millions of dollars on his campaign advertising.

But some viewers were not impressed with what he offered in the debate, and one tweeted "Bloomberg brought a wallet to a knife fight".

Others questioned how much money Mr Bloomberg had spent on hiring advisers to prepare for the debate.

Ms Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg's less-than-friendly exchanges also attracted attention on social media.

Who will take on Trump in 2020?

More on this story