Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg greeted a dog on the campaign trail Monday by appearing to "shake" its mouth, sparking an online debate. Some say the interaction shows the New York billionaire isn't comfortable around animals, while others argue he is a canine virtuoso.
What are the details?
CBS News video began circulating online Tuesday afternoon showing Bloomberg shaking hands with a man in Burlington, Vermont, before grabbing the upper jaw and snout of a dog and shaking with the same motion. He then scratched the dog's ears.
Christopher J. Hale, a former aide to President Barack Obama, shared the clip and tweeted, "I regret to inform you that Mike Bloomberg attempted to shake a dog's mouth."
The former managing editor of Occupy Democrats, Brian Tyler Cohen, also shared the video to Twitter, saying, "Michael Bloomberg...just greeted a dog...by giving it a handshake...on its face."
The Daily Wire shared the video, too, declaring, "Mike Bloomberg just lost the dog vote."
On all three noted posts (and there were many more who shared it), the reactions were mixed.
Several people called Bloomberg awkward, accused him of being a robot, and argued he was lucky the dog didn't bite him.
A follower of Hale asked, "What the hell is he doing to this poor dog?" On Cohen's post, a commenter offered the headline: "Robot Man Bloomberg shakes dogs face." One Daily Wire fan wrote, "Lucky he didn't get bitten or worse. The dog has probably learned 'shake' as a command anyhow."
But other followers chimed in arguing — even while declaring they weren't Bloomberg fans — that his interaction with the dog showed he likely has a great deal of experience or some sort of training in dog handling.
"Not that I hold much of a candle for Mikey but that is a legitimate dog petting move. They like it," someone commented on Hale's post. A Cohen follower tweeted, "A great way to greet a dog that you know. He is obviously a dog person." On The Wire's post, a follower responded, "That was actually quite normal. Dogs love it, it's playful."
Were there jokes?
In addition to the free sharing of their opinions, the folks on Twitter did not disappoint in making a few jokes at Bloomberg's expense over the ordeal.
A Daily Wire follower reacted with the sharp explanation that "Bloomberg was checking for sodas."