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Gun rights activists were pleased enough to chuckle when Beto O’Rourke ended his campaign for president. While he was never a real threat to take the nomination, his anti-gun rhetoric was riling up gun control advocates and causing headaches for defenders of the 2nd Amendment. But as billionaire Micheal Bloomberg contemplates a presidential run of his own, it’s time to hold you guns a little more tightly. His views on firearms are similar to O’Rourke’s. The difference is Bloomberg could actually win the nomination if he runs.
In fact, his vast wealth makes him the biggest threat to President Trump, who should easily beat Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or Pete Buttigieg if any of them win the nomination. Bloomberg is a different story. He’s a so-called moderate despite having radical views on guns and climate change. But he’s not an advocate of single-payer healthcare or socialistic principles, which means he can have appeal to Independents who are worried about current Democrats.
Bloomberg is filing for the primary in Alabama, though he hasn’t decided if he is going to run for the nomination. Friday is the deadline to file in Alabama, so this is a sign he’s keeping the option open. He has always said he would only run if he felt he had a realistic opportunity of winning the nomination, and by his standards that likely means he would only run if it’s essentially a sure thing. But the calculus has changed as the current batch of candidates dive further and further to the left, including the “moderates” – Biden and Buttigieg. He is no longer confident any of them can beat President Trump, and he’s likely correct with this assumption.
Howard Wolfson, a top advisor to Bloomberg, released a statement acknowledging Bloomberg’s concern with the state of the race:
Mike believes that Donald Trump represents an unprecedented threat to our nation. In 2016, he spoke out at the Democratic Convention, warning against a Trump presidency. In 2018 he spent more than $100 million to help elect Democrats to ensure that Congress began to hold the President accountable. And this year he helped Democrats win control of both houses of the Virginia legislature. We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that. If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist. Based on his record of accomplishment, leadership and his ability to bring people together to drive change, Mike would be able to take the fight to Trump and win.
Bloomberg is a numbers guy, which is one of the reasons his riches are estimated around $50 billion. Being a numbers guy means every piece of data collected must be part of the equation. Even the announcement of entering the Alabama primary will have his team closely watching reactions. It’s a smart move to keep the option open, and doing so on the last day before the deadline makes sense to keep him from committing. He’s waiting to see how people respond and what sort of “draft” efforts are put forth. His phone is blowing up as we speak and if the right people are on the other line encouraging him to throw his hat in the ring, he’s likely to do it.
It would change the entire dynamic of the nomination race. Biden, who is already failing, will become essentially irrelevant. Buttigieg will be forgotten. Warren and Sanders will be irate, rallying their base against another billionaire who thinks he can buy his way to the White House. They will cash in every media chit they have to build buzz against him because unlike Biden, Bloomberg is unlikely to implode of his own accord. They’ll need to go after him with everything they have.
If Michael Bloomberg ever sits behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, the 2nd Amendment will face its greatest challenge in history. He will definitely go for the gun-grab. He must not be allowed to have that opportunity.
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