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Bloomberg Campaign Press Release - Mike Bloomberg 2020 Campaign Highlights Bernie Sanders' Dangerous Record Fighting Against Gun Safety Legislation

February 24, 2020

Campaign announces new social media video, California bus tour

NEW YORK — Today, the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign is highlighting Senator Bernie Sanders' dangerous record siding with the NRA against common-sense gun safety measures, including voting against the Brady Bill five times and supporting a NRA-backed law giving corporate gun manufacturers immunity from legal action.

"The NRA spent thousands of dollars to get Bernie Sanders elected to Congress and despite national efforts to end gun violence he continued to vote with them. He voted five times against the Brady Bill, which established background checks on firearm sales. He voted for an NRA-backed law that gave gunmakers sweeping immunity from legal action. He's voted to allow guns on Amtrak, planes and in national parks. With gun violence becoming a regular part of American life Bernie Sanders stood on the sidelines. That's why we need Mike Bloomberg who has shown time and time again he's not afraid of taking on the NRA," said Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign manager Kevin Sheekey.

The campaign is releasing a new social media ad:

The NRA paved the road to Washington for Bernie Sanders. He spent the next three decades making sure they got a return on their investment. We deserve a president who is not beholden to the gun lobby. #NotMeNRA

The campaign is launching a California bus tour beginning in Oakland tomorrow, February 25, to highlight the clear differences between Mike Bloomberg's record of standing up to the NRA and Senator Sanders' record of doing their bidding. Details to come.

The campaign is deploying surrogates to discuss Sander's record:

"I'm serving in the Colorado state legislature because I don't want another parent to ever experience the pain of losing a child to gun violence. And I'm proud to support Mike Bloomberg because he knows there are common-sense steps we can and must take to protect our kids and keep guns out of the wrong hands. But Bernie Sanders doesn't seem to understand just how important this issue is. He voted to allow guns on trains and planes and into national parks. Five times he voted against background checks on gun purchases. As president, Mike Bloomberg will support universal background checks, raise the age limit for gun sales, ban assault weapons, and hold the gunmakers accountable for their actions. That's the leadership we need in the White House." – CO State Representative and Gun Violence Survivor Tom Sullivan

"As Gary's mayor, I fought to hold gun manufacturers accountable in court for their negligence. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, voted in the House to give these corporations immunity from lawsuits against them. He also opposed background checks for years, voting five times against the Brady Bill. Mike Bloomberg has never been afraid to take on the NRA. Mike is the leader we need in the White House to protect our children and communities from the daily epidemic of gun violence." – Former Mayor of Gary, Indiana Karen Freeman-Wilson

"It's high time people stopped entertaining the notion of electing a candidate like Bernie Sanders who sides with the gun industry instead of with the safety and security of Americans across the country who are fearful about the rise in gun violence. You simply cannot rely on someone who has voted against measures that would improve gun safety, shed light on the causes of gun violence, and ask manufacturers to shoulder some of the responsibility for the carnage, to do anything but take a back seat to this issue in Washington and watch it continue. That alarms me and it should alarm every voter who has an opportunity to make a different choice this year. It's why I'm voting for Mike Bloomberg and why I think anyone who cares about stopping the epidemic of gun violence in this country should too." – Founder of Harlem's Children Zone Geoffrey Canada

"Americans are dying in the streets. But Bernie got what he needed from the NRA and turned the other cheek. We know where he stands. He's a sellout to the corporate gun lobby. For all his talk about socialism, he's just another weak politician bowing to special interests. With 3 houses and a million dollars in the bank. Sanders accepted help from the NRA to run for Congress. He voted against the Brady Bill 5 times. He voted for an NRA-backed law giving corporate gun manufacturers immunity from legal action. In fact, the NRA called it 'the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in twenty years.' That's unacceptable. That's why I'm voting for Mike Bloomberg. He's been fighting the NRA for decades and he's winning. We need a leader in Washington who can think for himself. That's Mike." – Former Mayor of Philadelphia and Campaign National Political Co-Chair Michael Nutter

"As a gun violence survivor and advocate, it's baffling to me why anyone would consider Bernie Sanders a credible candidate in the race considering his abysmal record on gun safety. Every election calls for a leader who is suited to the times, and with so many shooting deaths, this is not the time to elect someone who has been in their pockets. This is not the time to elect someone who has voted against common sense background checks on firearms, or voted against holding gun corporations responsible for the damage their products do. It simply doesn't make sense, and it makes even less sense to elect a candidate like Bernie who is so completely unsuited to addressing one of the most alarming challenges we face. This crisis calls for a president like Mike Bloomberg who has as strong a record on gun safety as any American anywhere, and who has done more to create a grassroots movement to address gun safety than anyone else in the country. This is the president we need and this is the one I'm voting for because of it." – Campaign Senior Advisor and Gun Violence Survivor Debbie Weir

"Mike Bloomberg has spent decades getting guns off our streets, first as New York's mayor and then as the architect of the country's largest gun-safety movement. What has Bernie Sanders done? He voted five times against the Brady Bill, which mandated background checks for gun purchases. He voted to shield gun manufacturers from legal liability. He voted against funding CDC research into stopping gun violence. In 2020, we have the opportunity to elect a president who will finally make gun safety a top national priority. Mike Bloomberg, not Bernie Sanders, is the leader who will get it done." – U.S. Representative (NY-5) and Co Chair of Mike for Black America National Leadership Council Gregory Meeks

"Mike Bloomberg has been a longtime leader in the fight against the NRA. He knows words fail when trying to comfort a family grieving a loved one lost to gun violence. But collectively we can take action to stop the epidemic of gun violence. That's why we've passed new gun safety laws here in San Jose. We need to do more at the federal level, though. Bernie Sanders, unfortunately, has stood in the way of progress for years. He voted against the Brady Bill five times and to block funding anti-gun violence research. Democrats want a president who will stand up to the gun lobby and reduce senseless gun violence. They aren't 'feeling the Bern' — they know only Mike will get it done." – San Jose Mayor and California Campaign Co Chair Sam Liccardo

"We need to be real about how we stem the tide of guns. It will take an independent leader who isn't beholden to the NRA in order to pass common sense gun laws. Bernie Sanders voted against the Brady Bill 5 times. The Brady Bill called for common sense gun laws. Most Americans support it. Most Americans don't support socialism and they don't support letting people die by gun violence. There's nothing from Sanders record that indicates he's going to do anything to make gun violence a priority. He's not fighting for urban Americans at all. It doesn't make sense to vote for him. The NRA helped Sanders get elected when he first ran for Congress and he's spent his career paying them back. People need to wake up and vote for someone who respects the Second Amendment, but who also respects our right to live. That's Mike Bloomberg. He doesn't owe anybody anything and he's clear about his position on guns. We need reform. Unlike bait and switch Bernie, Mike Bloomberg has the power to vote what he believes. And, that's for common sense gun laws." – Former Baltimore Mayor and Campaign National Political Co Chair Stephanie Rawlings Blake

"Bernie Sanders should be ashamed of himself. He's been supported by the NRA. They helped him get elected in his first run for Congress and he's been paying them back for years. He sold out when he did the NRA's bidding by voting against the Brady Bill 5 times. He was doing the NRA's bidding when he voted to ban funding for research into stopping gun violence at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He was doing the NRA's bidding when he voted to allow guns on Amtrak trains, on planes and in national parks. Am I missing something? Does he just not care about people outside of rural Vermont? Urban gun violence has taken too many lives. And, most Americans live in our cities. We need a President who will fight the NRA, not a sellout like Sanders. If he's willing to roll over for the NRA, who else will he roll over for? He's not selling change. He's a full-fledged member of the swamp." – Former Miami Mayor and Campaign National Political Co Chair Manny Diaz

"While Americans die every day from gun violence, Bernie Sanders talks a big game about being independent and kicking special interests to the curb. But, let's be honest, he's voted five times against the Brady Bill. We need a proven fighter for gun safety. Mike Bloomberg has taken on the NRA and beat them, fighting for common sense gun reform for decades – changing laws, saving lives, starting Moms Demand Action, and Everytown for Gun Safety, while still respecting the Second Amendment. Mike's record is clear – he will continue to fight for and deliver on the common sense gun reform that Democrats, and most all of America, demands." – Mayor of Louisville and Campaign Co Chair Greg Fischer

"Bernie Sanders says he wants to take on the powerful corporate lobbies that run Washington. But the truth is that he's rolled over for the NRA time and again. They spent thousands of dollars helping elect him to Congress and he's been paying them back ever since. That's why Bernie Sanders voted against the Brady Bill — 5 times. It's inexcusable. Most Americans support common sense background checks on firearm sales and we can't afford someone in the White House who had an election year conversion on the importance of gun safety legislation." – U.S. Representative (FL-7) and Campaign Co Chair Stephanie Murphy


NRA Executive Wayne LaPierre: "Bernie Sanders Is A More Honorable Choice For Vermont Sportsmen Than Peter Smith." "A few days before Election Day in 1990, the National Rifle Association sent a letter to its 12,000 members in Vermont, with an urgent message about the race for the state's single House seat. Vote for the socialist, the gun rights group said. It's important. 'Bernie Sanders is a more honorable choice for Vermont sportsmen than ­Peter Smith,' wrote Wayne LaPierre, who was — and still is — a top official at the national NRA, backing Sanders over the Republican incumbent." [Washington Post, 5/19/15]

The NRA Spent $18,000 Attacking Sanders' Opponent. "The Clinton campaign also noted that the NRA helped elect Sanders to the House of Representatives in 1990. [...] The NRA backed Republican incumbent Peter Smith in his 1988 race against Sanders. But Smith didn't stick to his guns and came out in favor of an assault weapons ban after he won. Feeling betrayed, the gun group spent $18,000 attacking the incumbent in 1990 and issued bumper stickers emblazoned with images of Smith as Pinocchio and 'Dump Pete Smith,' Garrison Nelson, a professor of state politics at the University of Vermont previously told PolitiFact." [PolitiFact, 4/15/16]

Republican Opponent Co-Sponsored A Bill Banning The Sale Of Assault Weapons. "Smith found a bill to ban the sale of some assault weapons. He signed on as co-sponsor. That was April 1989. Almost immediately, Smith's office was flooded with angry cards, petitions, faxes and letters." [Washington Post, 7/19/15]

Between 1991 And 1993, Sanders Voted Against The Brady Bill Five Times. "The Brady bill imposed a five-day waiting period for would-be purchasers of handguns. Between 1991 and 1993, Sanders voted against it five times." [PolitiFact, 7/10/15]

2003 And 2005: Sanders Voted For Bills That Protected "Gun Companies From Lawsuits If Their Products Are Used In Crimes." "Opponents Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley attacked Sanders's past votes against a bill in 1993 that established national background checks and for a bill in 2003 and 2005 that protects gun companies from lawsuits if their products are used in crimes. Sanders, an independent from rural and gun-friendly Vermont, defended the virtues of moderation on this issue — arguing, 'We need a sensible debate about gun control which overcomes the cultural divide that exists in this country, and I think I can play an important role in this.'" [Vox, 3/04/19]

2007: Sanders Voted To "Block Funding To Any Foreign Aid Organization That Registered Or Taxes American's Guns." "As a senator, Sanders supported bills to allow firearms in checked bags on Amtrak trains and block funding to any foreign aid organization that registered or taxed Americans' guns." [Slate, 5/6/15]

2009: Sanders Voted To Allow Guns On Amtrak Trains. "In addition to Sanders' Brady Bill votes, the Clinton campaign referred us to Sanders' votes against funding for gun research, twice for prohibiting lawsuits against firearms manufacturers ('what the head of the NRA called the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in the last 20 years,' said Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin), for increasing the burden of proof to prosecute law-breaking gun dealers, and for allowing firearms on Amtrak trains and in national parks." [PolitiFact, 4/15/16]

Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg Campaign Press Release - Mike Bloomberg 2020 Campaign Highlights Bernie Sanders' Dangerous Record Fighting Against Gun Safety Legislation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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