Bloomberg shifts message to impeachment as Senate holds trial
In his latest television ad airing in Oklahoma, Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg calls President Donald Trump a “dangerous demagogue” and says the U.S. Senate should remove him from office.
“It’s time for the Senate to act and remove Trump from office,” the former New York City mayor says in the ad. “And if they won’t do their jobs, this November you and I will.”
Bloomberg’s campaign committed at least $71,000 to the ad last week, according to records posted by network affiliates in Oklahoma City. The Bloomberg campaign also bought air time in Tulsa. A poll taken in December by Amber Integrated, of Oklahoma City, showed Bloomberg in fourth place in Oklahoma and practically even with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Bloomberg, the only Democratic presidential candidate airing television spots in Oklahoma ahead of the March 3 primary, has sponsored previous ads in the state emphasizing his efforts to expand health insurance coverage.
The shift in message comes as the U.S. Senate is holding a trial on the two impeachment articles — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — approved by the Democratic-led House against the Republican president.
The Senate, controlled by Republicans, is expected to acquit Trump, possibly this week.
Samantha Cotten, spokesperson for Trump's re-election campaign, said, “Michael Bloomberg continues to try to buy his way into the presidency, but Sooners know that Bloomberg is a failed mayor who wants to implement radical policies that are out-of-touch with Oklahoma values. No amount of political spending can distract voters from seeing the successes of President Trump’s America First agenda.”
Bloomberg visited Oklahoma last week, unveiling a plan in Tulsa to increase black ownership of homes and businesses.
He also met privately with some leading Democrats in Oklahoma City, including U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn.
Bloomberg put $400,000 into a last-minute ad campaign in 2018 in Horn’s race, in which she defeated incumbent Republican Steve Russell by just over 1 percentage point.
In his new ad, the billionaire businessman refers to his 2018 spending for Democratic congressional candidates.
“In 2016, I warned that Donald Trump was a dangerous demagogue,” Bloomberg says. “ And when the Republican Congress wouldn’t hold him accountable, I went to work helping run winning campaigns in 21 House seats.”
According to Bloomberg’s campaign, the impeachment ad is airing in 27 states, including some expected to have competitive U.S. Senate races this year. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, a Republican, faces re-election this year. He has not officially announced that he will seek another term but would be heavily favored.
Bloomberg’s new advertising message also comes as Horn is the target of more anti-impeachment ads funded by a GOP-affiliated group.
Horn, of Oklahoma City, said last week that she had no plans to endorse Bloomberg or any other presidential candidate and that her decision wouldn’t be swayed by the financial investment he made in her race.
Horn said she had only a brief conversation with Bloomberg last week that didn’t include the 2018 race or his latest push to have the president removed.
Bloomberg praised the House last month for approving the two articles of impeachment. Horn voted for both.
“I don’t think he even knew who I was,” Horn said, adding that Bloomberg wasn’t personally picking races in 2018 for financial help but had a team making those decisions.
The Bloomberg money was spent through a political action committee independent of Horn’s campaign.
“The money that came in … I had no idea it was coming,” she said last week.
“I was as shocked as the next person — probably more shocked than the next person because nobody was playing in this race.”
That has already changed dramatically, as outside groups have been spending money for several weeks in Horn's congressional district, with the majority of the money used on ads against her.