The Bloomberg Super Bowl Ad We'll Never See

No one should be surprised that former New York mayor and gun control sugar daddy Michael Bloomberg is dropping a reported $10-million on a minute-long campaign commercial that will run during the Super Bowl. Bloomberg has more than $50-billion to his name. What’s $10-million when it gives you 60 seconds to introduce yourself to 100-million American voters, not to mention the free publicity you get for buying the ad time in the first place? It’s a no-brainer.

While Bloomberg will be speaking to red and blue America, he’s competing in the Democrat primary, so his message is going to be tailored for that audience. Reportedly, he’ll be using at least some of his air time to attack President Trump, instead of making the case for voting for Bloomberg. From NBC News:

A Bloomberg campaign spokesperson said that when they heard reports that Trump was potentially running a 30-second Super Bowl ad, Bloomberg “opted for more impact and more time with 60 seconds.”

“Mike is taking the fight to Trump,” the spokesperson added.

After the reports about Bloomberg, a Trump campaign spokesman said the president’s re-election campaign will spend about $10 million to advertise during the Super Bowl. It has purchased 60 seconds of commercial time, which could be one spot or two 30-second versions.

“We moved early and got prime ad position early in the game,” one of the Trump officials said, highlighting that the Bloomberg campaign was acting in response to their original plans.

Bloomberg’s trying to convince Democrats that he’s the best option to beat Trump, not convince American voters that he’s a “moderate” choice. I suspect, however, that part of his message is going to portray him as a pragmatic and practical businessman who gets things done, as well as a philanthropist who donates hundreds of millions of dollars to environmental and social causes, like his important work with gun safety.

You get the idea. What the ad will most certainly not feature are any of Bloomberg’s actual comments about guns and gun ownership, or what he thinks “gun safety” really means.

You won’t see Bloomberg declare that “we can’t just let average Americans have guns”in public places, for example. Bloomberg recently made those comments after he was asked about Jack Wilson, the hero of the church shooting in White Settlement, Texas.

I don’t think Bloomberg’s Super Bowl ad will feature any comments from his 2014 interview with the New York Times, which contained this revealing statement.

“I think having a gun at home when you have children is really dumb,” said Bloomberg, who added that kids are inquisitive. That’s true enough, but Bloomberg’s first impulse is “don’t own a gun,” and not “educate folks to store their firearms so their children cannot get access to them.” That’s because his definition of gun safety is “don’t own a gun.” It’s why Everytown for Gun Safety doesn’t offer gun safety training in any town in America.

Finally, you won’t see Bloomberg talk about reducing violent crime by stopping young black men in high crime neighborhoods and “throwing them up against the wall” to frisk them for weapons. Bloomberg has apologized for his past support for “stop and frisk,” though he still hasn’t apologized for telling an Aspen, Colorado audience in 2015 that the best way to reduce violence was to disarm black men between the ages of 15 and 25. Yeah, you won’t see that quote in the Super Bowl ad either, but here’s how the Aspen Times described it at the time.

Bloomberg claimed that 95 percent of murders fall into a specific category: male, minority and between the ages of 15 and 25. Cities need to get guns out of this group’s hands and keep them alive, he said.

“These kids think they’re going to get killed anyway because all their friends are getting killed,” Bloomberg said. “They just don’t have any long-term focus or anything. It’s a joke to have a gun. It’s a joke to pull a trigger.”

First of all, it’s a really gross generalization to say that every young minority male needs to be disarmed, or that they all have a warped sense of morality. Gang violence is typically driven by a very small number of people in any given community, to the point that one study claims 1% of the population is responsible for 63% of violent crime.

Secondly, while Bloomberg talks about one particular demographic group driving violence, his strategy isn’t to focus on breaking that cycle of violence and offering opportunities for these young men to escape the gang lifestyle. That’s not the focus of his “gun safety” campaign at all. He’s going after the NRA and legal gun owners instead.

It’s not in Mike Bloomberg’s interest to share these thoughts of his with 100-million of his fellow Americans. It is, however, in every American’s interest to share these thoughts of Bloomberg’s with every voter they know, Republican and Democrat alike. I doubt this story will have the reach of Bloomberg’s Super Bowl ad, but I appreciate you sharing and spreading the news so folks can get a better idea of what Bloomberg’s all about when it comes to the right to keep and bear arms.