Mike Bloomberg Blasts Bernie Sanders Over Gun Voting Record, Says 'NRA Put Him In Congress'

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hit back at Senator Bernie Sanders Thursday, claiming on Twitter that his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination was elected to Congress due to support from the National Rifle Association.

Sanders is currently running on a platform that includes strict gun control measures and often publicly touts his low ratings from the NRA. However, critics have pointed out that his stance on the matter has changed over time. Bloomberg launched a series of tweets containing what he called "inconvenient facts" about the issue.

"The NRA put Bernie Sanders in Congress, And Other Inconvenient Facts," said Bloomberg in the first of the tweets.

"NRA President Wayne LaPierre told Vermonters to vote for Bernie. When Sanders ran in 1990, the NRA ran ads against his opponent," Bloomberg continued.

Although Sanders has been out of favor with the NRA for many years, he was backed by the group during his first successful run for Congress in 1990. His Republican opponent at the time was not favored due to his support of an assault weapons ban.

Bloomberg continued his tweets by focusing on votes against gun control by Sanders during his early years representing Vermont in the House.

"After the NRA helped him get elected, Sanders voted against the Brady Bill FIVE times," tweeted Bloomberg. "The Brady Bill established background checks on firearms and imposed a five-day waiting period on purchases."

Bloomberg and Sanders
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Senator Bernie Sanders faced off at the Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 19, 2020. Mark RALSTON / AFP/Getty

Former Vice President Joe Biden has also recently attacked the senator on the same issue, calling the votes "flat-out immoral" while suggesting Sanders was a "coward" on Thursday.

Bloomberg's tweets also criticized Sanders voting in favor of a 2005 bill giving gun manufacturers partial immunity from prosecution related to gun violence. Sanders reversed his position during his 2016 primary campaign.

Bloomberg finished his Thursday night Twitter salvo with a tweet accusing Sanders of being "corrupt."

"Senator Sanders has said that he'll stand up to 'the NRA and its corrupting effect on Washington,'" Bloomberg tweeted. "But the truth is that if the NRA has corrupted Washington, Bernie is among the corrupt."

Newsweek reached out to the Sanders campaign for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

The NRA put Bernie Sanders in Congress, And Other Inconvenient Facts.

A thread:

— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 20, 2020

One day earlier, Sanders and the rest of the Democratic field faced off against Bloomberg for the first time during the Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nevada. Most commentators deemed the night a failure for Bloomberg, who was relentlessly attacked by the other candidates.

Sanders and others have claimed that the billionaire is trying to "buy" the election by spending hundreds of millions on his campaign.

"Mike Bloomberg owns more wealth than the bottom 125 million Americans. That's wrong, that's immoral," said Sanders during the debate. "That should not be the case when we got a half a million people sleeping out on the street, where we have kids who cannot afford to go to college, when we have 45 million people dealing with student debt."

Bloomberg and Sanders will likely have another chance to face off in person on Tuesday, when both are expected to take part in the next Democratic debate in South Carolina.

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