The National Rifle Association has billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in its crosshairs, aiming at discrediting his nationwide campaign to tighten gun control laws, according to The Washington Post.
"Michael Bloomberg has declared war on the NRA and our 5 million members," Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, said in an email to USA Today.
"We will not sit back and let him use his billions of dollars to impose his radical anti-freedom agenda on the American people."
The NRA is pushing back against a $50 million effort by Bloomberg to "build a grass-roots network of activists who feel strongly about reducing gun violence with a goal of beating the powerful gun rights group in political fights."
The NRA’s ad campaign — "Meet the Real Michael Bloomberg" — begins Wednesday with a $500,000 ad buy in states with key midterm races, such as Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Georgia. In the spots, Bloomberg is portrayed as a meddling politician trying to use his fortune to impede Americans’ personal freedoms, from guns to banning jumbo-size sugary drinks in New York, according to USA Today.
"Hey, Bloomberg: Keep your politics in New York. And keep your hands off our guns and our freedom," one ad says.
Another features a woman driving a red pickup truck through "rural and suburban landscapes" while a female narrator tells viewers that "Bloomberg tries to ban your snack food, your sodas, and most of all, your guns."
In April, Bloomberg told The New York Times
that "gun control advocates need to learn from the NRA and punish those politicians who fail to support their agenda — even Democrats whose positions otherwise align with his own."
Bloomberg’s grass-roots network, Everytown for Gun Safety, is taking a page from the NRA manual and rating lawmakers and judges on their positions on gun control, grading them on an A through F scale.
Bloomberg’s spokesman, Stu Loeser, told USA Today that the tactic is a proven winner.
"We've successfully linked several candidates that we helped defeat to the NRA," he said, noting recent House races in Illinois and California and the 2013 Virginia attorney general’s race.
"This November, we will help defeat others who have made the mistake of aligning with the NRA."
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