Michael Bloomberg made it official. The gun control godfather and financier of several anti-gun groups is throwing his billions in to buy his way to the White House and force his radical anti-gun agenda on America.
It might have been the worst-kept secret in the history of presidential runs. The former New York city mayor has played an on-and-off again tease with his presidential ambitions.
In October, the Nanny-in-Chief threatened a run, only to walk it back when he announced in March that he wouldn’t. Then, he said, “I am clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination.”
It seems that the billionaire got a set of 2020 glasses where the future appears, at least to him, much clearer. Bloomberg’s vision for a gun control America is brighter, in his estimate, after he poured $2.5 million to flip Virginia blue for gun control through Everytown for Gun Safety, which he bankrolls, along with Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action and March for Our Lives.
Those groups are already setting their sights on the Second Amendment stronghold of Texas, aiming to knock out Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Colorado’s Republican Sen. Cory Gardner.
None of this comes at a surprise. Bloomberg said in February he was prepared to spend a half billion dollars to wrest control of the White House from President Donald Trump. He dumped in $80 million to bolster gun control Democrats to Congress in the 2018 midterms. Now, he’s vowing off public funding, using his near endless reserves to launch a shot to be elected as nation’s top Gun Controller.
Welcome to the Race
His announcement, though, is already being widely panned, even by those who openly embrace even the most far-reaching gun control ideas he pushes. Democratic candidate and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) blasted the Republican-turned-Independent-turned Democrat.
“Telling billionaires they can come and buy elections, that does not make democracy work,” she told reporters.
Bloomberg got a similar chilly reception from Sen. Bernie Sander (I-Vt.) when he reacted to the announcement saying Bloomberg’s “not going to get very far in this election.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) panned his $34 million announcement media blitz, adding “I just don’t think people are going to buy it.”
More Obstacle Course than Race
The 77-year-old has hurdles to overcome. Aside from his less-then-warm reception by his fellow competitor candidates, he’s not inspiring a strong following from those who he funnels missions of dollars to peddle his gun control message. Buzzfeed polled 11 Moms Demand and Students Demand Action grassroots volunteers to see if their gun control funder-in-chief earned their vote. None committed to the billionaire.
“I’m not super psyched about it, but I respect him enormously,” said Jessica Craven, 51, the legislative lead for her Moms Demand Action group in Northeast Los Angeles. The Wall Street Journal reported Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action reassured their followers they wouldn’t need to pledge their votes to the guy footing their bill.
Adding to Bloomberg’s obstacles are two glaring facts he can’t ignore. Bloomberg’s own news organization refuses to investigate their benefactor, a signal he might not be up for the media scrutiny. To be fair, they’ll extend that same courtesy to all other Democratic candidates, but not to President Donald Trump, whom Bloomberg has targeted.
Former Bloomberg D.C. bureau chief editor Megan Murphy was astonished, saying “This is not journalism.”
Bloomberg’s also facing a dearth of public support. In the five national primary polls tracking the candidates, he’s hovering around 2 percent. That might explain why he’s skipping the early state tests of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and the debate stages where Americans get to hear directly why he’s running.
Even the left-leaning Mother Jones begged Bloomberg to butt out. “Stop, please!” pleaded Michael Winchester of Cedar Rapids. “This is insane.”
That’s something we’ve been saying about Michael Bloomberg for years.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.