Wednesday evening’s debate in Las Vegas, Nevada was the first time that many Americans were introduced to Michael Bloomberg in person. They’ve undoubtably been exposed to his campaign ads, on both their TV and computer screens, but most of those commercials don’t actually feature Bloomberg himself. Instead, surrogates and soundbites are used to create the narrative that Bloomberg is a pragmatic, practical politician who just wants to get things accomplished.
That carefully crafted narrative lasted all of about ten seconds during the debate before Sen. Elizabeth Warren tore into Bloomberg for demeaning comments made to female employees over the years, and after that every candidate on stage took their turns piling on to Bloomberg for his past support for stop-and-frisk, his attempts to buy the Democratic nomination, and more.
The Washingon Free Beacon‘s Stephen Gutowski joins me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co to break down where it all went wrong for Bloomberg, as well as why gun owners should be cautiously optimistic about the damage the anti-gun billionaire may have done to his own campaign.
Gutowski and I also discuss the somewhat odd fact that gun control wasn’t brought up as a topic in Wednesday evening’s debate, despite the founder and funder of the modern gun control movement being on the debate stage for the first time, and the fact that the debate took place on the Las Vegas Strip, not far from where the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting took place in 2017. I figured both the setting and the addition of Bloomberg to the debate field almost guaranteed we’d see some discussion about gun control, but it didn’t happen.
In fact, not only did moderators not bring up the topic, Bloomberg himself didn’t really mention his lavish spending in support of his anti-gun agenda. Bloomberg was far more interested in bashing Bernie Sanders for his three homes than he was in going after Americans for owning 400-million firearms or for daring to treat keeping and bearing arms as if it’s some kind of right or something.
I can almost understand the moderates leaving the issue aside, since the candidates all agree on a ban on semi-automatic “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines, and most are promoting either a federal gun licensing regime or incentivizing states to establish gun licensing programs. If you’re a moderator hoping to spark a debate between two Democrats, gun control isn’t going to be the topic you bring up.
If you’re Mike Bloomberg, on the other hand, it is something you want to bring up. Bloomberg’s seems awfully proud of the moment he asked the other candidates if they’d ever started their own business.
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 20, 2020
Bloomberg could have similarly asked what, beyond merely voting for gun control bills, any of the candidates had really done to “prevent gun violence.” He could have been ready to go with statistics and a pithy anecdote about how he’s not just interested in changing the laws, but the culture when it comes to gun ownership. He could have brought up the Everytown Creative Council, which is harnessing the power of celebrity to promote his idea of “gun safety”: don’t own a gun. He didn’t do either of those things. He spent more time bragging about shutting down coal-fueled power plants than his anti-gun activities. I don’t know why that is, but I do find it curious that he didn’t remember or choose to really tout his success in advancing his gun control agenda during the debate.
Also on today’s show we have a truly terrible story of a a repeat felon charged with brutally murdering his step-grandmother when he should have been behind bars, an Alabama woman who held a burglar at gunpoint until her local police arrived, and a Good Samaritan who stepped in and stopped an attempted rape of a woman at a California gym.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the show at Apple Podcasts or by subscribing to Townhall Media on YouTube. On tomorrow’s show it’ll be an all email edition, so send any questions or comments you have to [email protected] and we’ll try to get to them on Friday’s program. Thanks as always for watching, listening, and spreading the word!