AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Are you ready for Bloomberg/Clinton 2020? I’m not sure the nation’s firearms industry could handle the surge in demand such a pairing would cause, but according to Matt Drudge, the anti-gun billionaire is considering the possibility after internal polling by the Bloomberg campaign showed the pair would be “a formidable force.”
Bloomberg’s been getting a lot of attention in the wake of Joe Biden’s face plant in Iowa and New Hampshire, and has closed the gap in polling over the last few weeks, aided by his massive spending. According to the Real Clear Politics polling average, Bloomberg is now comfortably in 3rd place behind Bernie Sanders and Biden, and is closing in on the former vice-president fairly quickly.
Along with the steady rise in support, Bloomberg is now starting to face growing criticism over his policies as mayor, and the “empire of influence” (in the words of the New York Times) that he’s built over the years, including with Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Everytown for Gun Safety. A steady stream of lawmakers have been issuing their endorsement of the candidate, even as we read stories of the campaign paying online influencers for their support.
The first question any reputable reporter should ask any official who endorses Bloomberg is:
“Has Bloomberg or any Bloomberg-affiliated entity given money to you or any organization with which you are affiliated?”
— michaelharriot (@michaelharriot) February 14, 2020
He’s not wrong, but I somehow doubt we’ll be seeing too many reporters ask those questions.
The anti-Bloomberg backlash on the left has come hardest from Bernie Sanders supporters, as you might expect. I think I’ve unironically retweeted more self-described socialists in the past week than I have in the past ten years. Politics makes strange bedfellows, and while I can’t find much common ground with their ideology, I certainly stand in solidarity with their opposition to the authoritarian anti-gun billionaire who believes he can buy his way into the White House.
Which brings us to the idea of Bloomberg bringing in Hillary Clinton as his vice-presidential nominee. Honestly, I think that move might be more popular among Republicans than Democrats, though I haven’t seen the internal polling cited by Matt Drudge. I know that Second Amendment supporters in particular would be energized by the prospect of a Bloomberg/Clinton ticket. In fact, I’d say the only possible running mate that could get gun owners more fired up would be Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke.
Presumably, Democrats would also be fired up by the chance to right the wrong they feel was done to Clinton in 2016, and Bloomberg might even dangle the possibility of serving just one term before passing the torch to Clinton in 2024. Heck, Bloomberg just turned 78 on Friday. He could dangle the possibility of retiring in 2022 and letting Hillary serve out the last two years of his term before running for re-election as a semi-incumbent if he really wanted to.
Right now, the Left is hitting Bloomberg for his support for stop-and-frisk, his deluge of spending, and the idea that he’s not a true Democrat (Bloomberg left the Democrat party to run as a Republican in the New York City mayoral race, then switched to independent before once again becoming a Democrat in 2018. Bringing Clinton on to the ticket would be a reassurance to establishment Democrats that Bloomberg is one of them.
It won’t, however, do anything to try to bridge the divide in the party between the Sanders/Warren wing and the Biden/Bloomberg axis of establishment Democrats. This idea isn’t designed to bring Sanders supporters into the fold, but to peel away support from those currently backing Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar. Bloomberg plans on attacking his left flank first and dispatching Sanders by either winning the nomination outright or by grabbing the nomination during a contested convention. Then, Bloomberg will attack his right flank, spending upwards of a billion dollars in the general election to defeat Donald Trump.
If having Hillary as his running mate will help, I have no doubt Bloomberg would extend the offer. It could be, however, that this story was simply leaked out by his campaign to generate some buzz and conversation to deflect from his recent controversies. After all, it’s far better for Bloomberg that we’re talking about his potential running mate than the ways he enforced his draconian gun control laws when he was mayor, and his plans to turn our Second Amendment right into a privilege.
When Clinton was running for president in 2016, she backed a Bloombergian agenda of gun bans, universal background checks, and more. Bloomberg’s plan in 2020 is much more expansive than Clinton’s, however, up to and including requiring mental health screenings before being able to purchase a firearm.
- Require point-of-sale background checks for all gun sales and finally close the private sale loophole, which enables prohibited people to buy guns simply by finding unlicensed sellers at gun shows or on the Internet.
- Require every gun buyer to get a permit before making a purchase.
- Allow for extreme risk screening before guns are purchased so that issuers would be equipped to deny permits to troubled people who pose a danger to themselves or others
- Require all gun buyers to wait at least 48 hours before any firearm purchase.
- Pass a federal red flag law that expands extreme risk orders to 50 states—and funds state efforts to maximize the policy.
- Reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
- Require secure storage of firearms which have been shown to reduce the risk of child gun injuries by up to 85 percent. However, an estimated 4.6 million American children live in houses with an unlocked gun.
- Ban all guns in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities – except for law enforcement.
That’s just a portion of his entire plan, which, if enacted, would absolutely gut the protections to our right to keep and bear arms provided by the U.S. Constitution, as well potentially turn tens of millions of Americans into criminals for simply keeping what they already own.
Actually, as far as gun owners are concerned, it really doesn’t matter who Bloomberg would pick as his running mate. Unfortunately, no matter who the Democrats ultimately nominate, they’ll be running as the most anti-gun presidential candidate in the nation’s history.