Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, and hoping to be elected president in 2020, is planning to unleash a massive media campaign against—not President Trump—but another Democrat, Bernie Sanders, turning the money machine inward against one of their own.
Sanders is now considered the biggest threat to the Democratic nomination, and self-funded billionaire Bloomberg is ready to give him a run for his money.
The ad tirade started on Monday when Bloomberg’s campaign released a video accusing Sanders of being weak on gun control—an issue that Bloomberg had hoped to highlight with a $10 million 2020 Super Bowl ad. With his near limitless amount of money to spend, Bloomberg is sure to throw a few barbs at Sanders.
CNBC broke the news story on Monday, Feb. 24, that Bloomberg is readying himself for a massive media campaign against Sanders. Meanwhile, other Democrats are becoming very concerned the nomination of Sanders, a democratic socialist, could lead to a Donald Trump victory in the 2020 election.
Sanders’s defense of policies of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro evoked memories of the brutality Cuban’s suffered under the dictator’s bloody rule. Tens of thousands of people died under Castro’s communist regime.
“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba,” said Sanders (I-Vt.), in a “60 Minutes” interview on Sunday night, “but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad.”
Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.), who represents a large population of Cuban-born residents in her district, responded on Twitter, “I’m hoping that in the future, Senator Sanders will take time to speak to some of my constituents before he decides to sing the praises of a murderous tyrant like Fidel Castro.”
Bloomberg’s campaign has already spent over $500 million on advertisements in the media, and now the plan is to splash out with more cash against Sanders.
On Monday, Sanders was portrayed by the Bloomberg campaign as a bedfellow of the National Rifle Association.
“The Bloomberg machine turns its billions onto Sanders in a first test of what the general election will look like,” tweeted The Hill’s Sagaar Enjeti.
This comes after an attack on Bloomberg by Sanders, after Bloomberg supported a policy known as stop and frisk, that was often instigated against blacks and Latinos in New York.
Bloomberg tweeted: The NRA paved the road to Washington for Bernie Sanders. He spent the next three decades making sure they got a return on their investment. We deserve a president who is not beholden to the gun lobby.#NotMeNRA
The NRA paved the road to Washington for Bernie Sanders.
He spent the next three decades making sure they got a return on their investment.
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 24, 2020
Many more ads slamming Sanders are expected in the coming weeks.
Fourteen states will hold their primaries on Super Tuesday, March 3, and with Sanders moving up in both state and national polls, by contrast, Bloomberg is fairly stagnant.