AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
Former New York Mayor and gun control sugar daddy Michael Bloomberg hit Democrat front-runner Bernie Sanders over the socialist’s past opposition to several gun control measures. While Sanders has been a steadfast supporter of gun control since his 2016 presidential bid, Bloomberg said that Sanders is “beholden to the gun lobby.”
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
As Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon recently noted, Sanders was never a Second Amendment stalwart, but did vote against several gun control measures in his decades in the Senate. That makes sense, given the fact that Sanders represents Vermont, which has a strong culture of responsible gun ownership.
Sanders long reflected the sensibilities of the rural gun culture of low-crime Vermont, even as the Democratic Party embraced increasingly restrictive gun control. He voted against a law establishing gun dealer licensing and background checks while supporting a law protecting gun dealers and manufacturers against frivolous lawsuits. For much of his career, he defended Vermont’s gun culture and said that he hoped to bridge the gap between his constituents and high gun-crime cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles.
No longer. Political experts say that Sanders has moved to the left along with the rest of his party after he issue became a major vulnerability for him in his 2016 primary campaign against Hillary Clinton, who found and exploited Sanders’ rare vulnerability on the left.
“Bernie shifted with the Democratic Party (even as an independent),” Professor Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said in an email. “And he saw in 2016 his gun record could be a real detriment to his presidential ambitions.”
Bloomberg’s ad attacks Sanders for being “bought” by the NRA, but that opens the door for Sanders to talk about all of the politicians “bought” by Bloomberg over the years, including the recent influx of cash into both the DNC and state Democrat parties. Bloomberg was never “bought” by the NRA, but he’s gone on a shopping spree of his own in recent years, spending far more money than “the gun lobby” backing anti-gun politicians around the country. In fact, his gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety is planning on spending nearly $10-million in the state of Texas this year alone in support of candidates that will advance the Bloomberg gun ban agenda.
Bloomberg’s attack on Sanders comes as many young gun control advocates have embraced the Sanders campaign and rejected Bloomberg’s candidacy, which has to sting the billionaire. After all, he’s spent hundreds of millions of dollars backing anti-gun measures around the country, and this is how the movement treats him?
For Second Amendment supporters, there’s really not much difference between the two candidates beyond the size of their bank accounts. Yes, Sanders has rejected some gun control bills in the past, but for the last few years he’s been a reliable vote for gun control and that won’t change if he’s elected president. If Bloomberg were to win the White House, he too would advance the most anti-gun agenda in the country’s history, and he’d flood Congress with enough campaign cash to get it done. Despite Bloomberg’s claims, there simply isn’t a Democrat running for president in 2020 who’s supportive of the right to keep and bear arms.