Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg on Monday attacked President Donald Trump’s failure to address gun violence in America with a campaign ad listing the 263 school shootings that have happened on his watch.
The video ― now going viral on Twitter ― begins with Trump claiming that his administration is “doing a lot of things” to improve gun safety in the U.S.
“Donald Trump says he wants gun safety, so why has he consistently sided with the NRA?” the ad asks at the end. “So why did the NRA spend $30 million to elect him? So why do 21 kids get shot in America every day?”
Bloomberg, a billionaire media mogul and former New York mayor, wrote on Twitter that students are being shot “because of Trump’s unwillingness to act.”
“Between protecting the NRA and our children, he’s made his choice,” Bloomberg added. “Which is why we need to beat him.”
The 62-second clip garnered more than 1.2 million views in its first 18 hours online.
Legislation to expand background checks on gun purchases that the Democratic-controlled House approved in February is languishing in the hands of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who hasn’t brought it up in the Senate.
Bloomberg repeatedly called for strengthened gun laws and financially backed anti-gun violence groups, such as Everytown for Gun Safety, prior to his presidential bid.
He has made gun violence a central pillar of his 2020 campaign, last week unveiling his plan to end the “nationwide madness” with proposals to let victims of gun violence sue manufacturers and to make assault weapon owners register their firearms.
All of the other Democratic presidential candidates favor universal background checks for gun buyers and a ban on assault-style weapons, according to a survey this month by Vox. Some, including Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, also support federal licensing for gun buyers and owners.
Bloomberg only officially announced his run for the White House last month and has already outspent the rest of the Democratic field, leading to accusations he is attempting to buy the presidency. He has also faced criticism for falsely claiming that, before launching his 2020 campaign, no one asked him about the controversial stop-and-frisk policing program from his time as mayor of New York.
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