Billionaire Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg attacked rival candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a Monday video ad showing bullying and threatening tweets and messages purportedly sent by the latter's supporters.
"We need to unite to defeat Trump in November. This type of 'energy' is not going to get us there," Bloomberg said in a Monday morning tweet containing the 53-second video.
The ad begins by showing multiple threatening or insulting social media posts and messages either in favor of Sanders or against Bloomberg or other 2020 Democratic primary candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
"Vote Bernie or bad things will happen," one of the tweets says.
"Love how you broke the system. We know where you live. Where you work. Where you eat. We know where your kids go to school/grandkids," a string of messages in a screenshot stated. "We have everything on you."
"Libs who are flirting with Bloomberg now should be aware that they are going on lists," one tweet in the video said. "Next time they pretend to care about racism or sexual harassment or really anything other than money and power, we will remember what they were doing right now and we will remind everyone."
After the messages, the video then shows a series media headlines about "Bernie bros," a pejorative term used for Sanders supporters who have been accused of using overly aggressive, threatening, or bullying tactics online.
"Bernie's Angry Bros" blares a headline from the New York Times in the video. "Are you being harassed by a Bernie bro or Bernie bot?" asks another from the Daily Dot. "Is Bernie Sanders' Angry Army Really What we Want?" another headline from the Chicago Tribune says.
After the headlines, the video shows a clip of Sanders saying, "It is vitally important for those of us who hold different views to be able to engage in a civil discourse."
"Really?" text on the video asks. "Really."
The language of Bloomberg's tweet was a reference to a video remarks tweeted out Sunday by the Vermont senator in which Sanders blasted the former New York City mayor for "racist policies like stop and frisk" and later added that "Mayor Bloomberg, with all his money, will not create the kind excitement and energy we need to have the voter turnout we must have to defeat Donald Trump."
Bloomberg's campaign also put out a statement Monday citing "repeated attacks by Bernie Sanders, his spokespeople and supporters."
In a tweet referring to the ad shortly after its release, Sanders' campaign managers, Faiz Shakir, accused Bloomberg of trying to "smear" Sanders.
"Candidate trying to buy the election is trying to smear candidate trying to win with a people-powered movement," Shakir wrote.