“Michael Bloomberg for president” commercials – or more appropriately, commercials warning of such a notion – will continue through the coming months in early primary states.
The National Rifle Association’s $1 million ad buy debuted during Thursday's Republican debate, warning that the billionaire former New York mayor and staunch gun control advocate wants to at least play a big role in the 2016 presidential race.
“If he doesn’t run himself for president, he wants to pick the president, “ NRA spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen told TheBlaze. “He will be part of the next presidential race whether he is a candidate or not.”
The NRA is buying TV ads on the Bloomberg’s supposed White House aspirations in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, and buying digital ads in South Carolina, Mortensen said.
Mortensen said Nevada is key for the NRA in 2016 because it is an early presidential caucus state, a general election swing state, will have a competitive Senate race and will have a Bloomberg-backed ballot initiative for universal background checks on gun buyers. Bloomberg, already spending $50 million across the country to advocate for gun control, is expected to spend millions in Nevada, Mortensen said.
At least publicly, Bloomberg hasn’t expressed any plans to run in the 2016 presidential race. But reports first surfaced in June that some Democrats were pushing Bloomberg as the only viable challenger to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Bloomberg – who was elected mayor in New York twice as a Republican and once as an independent – reportedly flirted with the idea of running for president as a third party candidate ahead of 2008 and 2012 presidential election cycles. But he declined each time.
As mayor, Bloomberg started the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which eventually became Everytown for Gun Safety after he left office. Every town for Gun Safety did not respond to phone and email inquiries from TheBlaze Friday.
Bloomberg was also known for pushing for soda regulations in the city.
The NRA ad says Bloomberg wants to "dismantle your gun rights" and "outlaw your snack foods." The ad directs viewers to the website, MeetBloomberg.com.
Mortensen told TheBlaze the point was to show Bloomberg has a problem with personal freedoms other than guns.
“Michael Bloomberg has disdain for freedoms,” Mortensen said. “This was to show that what he wants to do with guns is the same thing he wants to do with soda. It’s the same MO.”