When he first entered the race for the presidency, billionaire publisher and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg unleashed a torrent of ads on broadcast and social media touting his alleged virtues as a capitalist. He spent about $400 million for the privilege of appearing on the debate stage to be ripped to shreds by Sen Elizabeth Warren as a misogynist and a racist.
Whether or not Bloomberg has any hope of becoming president is considered doubtful by most pundits after his disastrous performance in Las Vegas. However, the candidate is about to embark on a new media strategy. Now he wants to prevent Bernie Sanders from becoming president, something Bloomberg like many people considers a disaster. CNBC explains:
“The campaign plans a multipronged attack, including the publication of opposition research on Sanders, these people said. It will also push out digital attack ads focused on Sanders’ record. On Monday, the Bloomberg campaign attempted to paint Sanders as a past ally of the National Rifle Association, a gun advocacy group that Bloomberg has fought for over a decade.”
In other words, the ultimate capitalist vs. socialist smackdown is about to begin. The Bloomberg campaign is also contemplating having surrogates write op-eds and appear on television attacking Sanders as a dangerous radical.
As Bloomberg embarks on an all-out campaign to stop Bernie Sanders, he will certainly have a target-rich environment. Sanders has already doubled down on his previous praise for Fidel Castro’s Cuba on a recent “60 Minutes” interview. And that is not all, according to a townhall he appeared on CNN.
“But, you know, you can’t say — China is another example, all right? China is an authoritarian country, becoming more and more authoritarian. But can anyone deny — I mean, the facts are clear — that they have taken more people out of extreme poverty than any country in history? Do I get criticized because I say that? That’s the truth. So that is the fact. End of discussion.”
As Hot Air reminds us, this is the same China that he herded millions of Muslim Uighurs into concentration camps. China’s one-child policy turned out to be a human rights atrocity and a demographic disaster, creating an imbalance between young men and young women in which tens of millions of the former have no hope of finding wives.
The science fiction, dystopian surveillance state that China has been creating is like something out of the George Orwell book, “1984.” except Orwell has no notion that the Internet could be combined with the surveillance cameras being set up at every street corner to keep tabs on Chinese citizens.
Also, Cuba’s literacy program, just like its healthcare system, was more hype than reality. Millions of Cubans were taught to read, but only so that they could consume Marxist-Leninist propaganda, not to seek out a free exchange of ideas and an unfettered media.
On the other hand, if Bloomberg hits Bernie on giving love to dictatorships such as Cuba and China, he will have some of his past comments supporting the Beijing regime to contend with. According to the National Review, Bloomberg claimed last year that Xi Jinping is not a dictator and has to attend to public opinion just like politicians in the West.
The statement is wide of reality. The National Review suggests that it was motivated less from conviction and more from Bloomberg’s desire to keep China as a trading partner and a place to which to outsource jobs. Ironically, the outbreak of the coronavirus has made both ideas rather problematic.
Right now, the Bloomberg media onslaught is going to focus on gun control, an issue that the billionaire candidate believes passionately in. Bernie Sanders has adroitly avoided taking a position on confiscating firearms and abrogating the 2nd Amendment. Vermont is a rural state and farm people like keeping their firearms out of the grasping hands of the state. Keen to keep his Senate seat, Bernie has gone along with this attitude.
Bloomberg believes, likely correctly, that being insufficiently in favor of “common-sense gun safety laws” is toxic in national Democratic politics. He intends to hit Sanders on that issue to try to drive down his numbers on the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
Who would benefit if Bernie were to stumble on the gun issue? Bloomberg thinks he will. Time will tell.