WASHINGTON — Mike Bloomberg has nabbed three new congressional endorsements on the heels of his rocky debate performance, underscoring his staying power in the Democratic primary race despite an onslaught of attacks from opponents. 

Reps. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Nita Lowey of New York and Pete Aguilar of California all endorsed Bloomberg Thursday. 

That brings his total number of congressional endorsements to 15, behind only Joe Biden, who has more than three times that amount. 

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The New York billionaire played defense for most of his presidential debate debut, as Democrats savaged the former mayor with questions about his record and past comments related to race, gender and his personal wealth. 

Bloomberg was firm and unapologetic about his wealth and how he has used it to affect change important to Democrats. 

While Bloomberg was the shiny new object in Wednesday night’s debate, the Democratic candidates also raised pointed questions about Bernie Sanders' take-no-prisoners politics. The ninth debate of this cycle featured the most aggressive sustained period of infighting in the Democrats’ yearlong search for a presidential nominee. 

Michael Bloomberg first Election 2020 Debate AP
Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg arrives for a Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/Matt York)
AP