The NRA fired another salvo in a long-running ad war with billionaire Michael Bloomberg, this time with a $1 million buy accusing the former New York City mayor of using his deep pockets to limit gun rights and food choices, CNN reports.
The National Rifle Association, the nation's most influential gun rights advocacy group, is dropping the ad Thursday night at the first Republican presidential debate, hinting Bloomberg may run for president – or at least use his big bucks to sway public officials, CNN reports.
According to CNN, the 30-second TV commercial opens with workers setting up a presidential announcement event using signs proclaiming "Bloomberg for President." The commercial charges Bloomberg is not only trying to "dismantle your gun rights," but also "outlaw your snack foods."
"Even if he doesn't run for president, Bloomberg will try to pick the president," the narrator declares. "Bloomberg spends his billions backing politicians who want to take away your rights."
In addition to airing Thursday night nationally on CNN, Fox News and on Fox local cable in Washington, the NRA said it has purchased time on DirecTV and Dish Network this week as well as cable ad time in Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire for the next three weeks, CNN reports.
An NRA representative tells CNN the initial ad buy is just a first phase, and added that it would also contain a digital component.
"Michael Bloomberg thinks he knows what's best for everyone else," said NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker. "He wants to tell us what to eat, what to drink and how to protect ourselves. If he can't be president, he will try to pick the president, just like he tried to pick the U.S. Senate in the last election, and we expect he will lose, just like he did in 2014."
Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson dismissed the ad.
"We love the spot," he told CNN. "We are thinking of doubling their buy and running it in full."
The NRA has lobbed shots at Bloomberg before, including an ad campaign
launched last August, while Bloomberg had shelled out millions in 2013 aimed at the NRA.
A Pew Research Center poll
in December showed a majority of Americans support gun rights more than gun control. CNN reports its survey in late June showed 49 percent of Americans favored stricter gun laws, while 49 percent opposed the idea.
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