Former New York Mayor and billionaire anti-gun advocate Michael Bloomberg is now officially running for the White House.
Bloomberg announced his campaign Sunday with a planned $34 million media blitz to garner the Democrat nomination for President next year. At least the 19th person to declare for that spot, several of which have already shuttered their campaigns, Bloomberg stated this weekend, “I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America.”
The 77-year-old media and financial services mogul spent 12 years as New York City’s mayor in the early 2000s, sandwiched between Rudy Giuliani and Bill de Blasio, and is currently estimated by Forbes to be worth over $50 billion.
While mayor, the City established the first gun offender registry, similar to a sex offender registry but for former gun owners. His administration also mandated that licensed gun dealers in the City conduct and certify their inventory every six months with the NYPD, installed a one-gun-a-month rationing scheme, and used public funds to “buy back” more than 8,000 firearms from residents.
While in office in 2006, he co-founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns along with then-Boston mayor Thomas Menino. In 2014, that organization, funded largely through donations from Bloomberg, morphed into Everytown, which bills itself as the largest “gun safety” group in the country although it does not run any firearm training or safety programs and largely concentrates on advocating for increased gun control at all levels.
Over the past several years, numerous MAIG/Everytown-endorsed political candidates have seen their campaigns benefit extensively from Bloomberg PAC dollars. Last year, the former Mayor personally spent “$110 million to elect candidates strong on gun safety in the 2018 midterm elections” according to his campaign website.
The news of Bloomberg’s entry into the race to unseat President Trump next November has been prefaced by signs the move was coming for the past several weeks as the former Mayor’s campaign has filed paperwork to put him on Democratic primary ballots in several states. Two weeks ago, President Trump downplayed the prospect of Bloomberg of being a formidable future opponent, calling him “Little Michael,” and saying, “he just doesn’t have the magic.”
Gun industry reaction
Firearm industry groups are not impressed with Bloomberg’s late entry into the 2020 race.
“Michael Bloomberg’s announcement to buy his way into this presidential election and force his radical gun control agenda on America surprises no one,” Mark Oliva, the Director of Public Affairs at the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told Guns.com Sunday.
“The anti-gun billionaire showed his hand in February when he pledged to spend a half-billion dollars to force his gun control nanny-state agenda on the rest of America,” said Oliva. “Michael Bloomberg doesn’t trust the rest of the Democratic field to deliver the White House for gun control just as he doesn’t trust Americans to exercise their God-given rights. The biggest surprise regarding the former New York City mayor’s late entrance into the presidential race is how he ignores the signs that he’s the candidate no one wants. His polling numbers hover at just two percent.”
Jason Ouimet, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, previously this month said that “if Michael Bloomberg wins the White House, it will be the biggest Second Amendment disaster in American history.”