Michael Bloomberg slammed for ‘homophobic’ tweets saying Bernie Sanders has the hots for Vladimir Putin
Michael Bloomberg sparred with Bernie Sanders in a rather bizarre way Sunday after the billionaire’s campaign team sent out parody tweets that some users called homophobic.
Strangle flex, but OK.
The former New York City mayor tweeted an interview of Sanders speaking to CBS‘ 60 Minutes discussing Fidel Castro’s administration in Cuba.
Since Sanders has barrelled to front-runner status in the caucuses, strengthening his position in the race for Democratic nomination, Bloomberg has upped the offensive in an attempt to slow his march to victory.
Michael Bloomberg in hot water over ‘homophobic’ misinformation campaign against Bernie Sanders.
“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know?” Sanders told host Anderson Cooper.
“When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did?
“He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”
Fidel Castro left a dark legacy of forced labor camps, religious repression, widespread poverty, firing squads, and the murder of thousands of his own people.
But sure, Bernie, let’s talk about his literacy program. pic.twitter.com/3Xqu435uoA
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 24, 2020
Shortly after, the Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign team also posted the video and attempted to amplify the attack against Sanders by starting a “#BernieOnDespots” trend, imagining what the lawmaker would say about other ruthless leaders, such as North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Yet, the entire campaign proved to be a lighting rod for criticism. The latter tweet drew intense condemnation from LGBT+ activists in particular for appearing to employ the tired tactic of male world leaders having sexual relations with one another, such as US president Donald Trump and Putin.
There’s definitely better ways of criticising politicians without, you know, being homophobic.
“Vladimir Putin is willing to poison anyone who disagrees with him,” the parody tweet said, according to screenshots. “But have you seen how that guy looks without a shirt!
In case you missed it,Team Bloomberg tweeted out a gay joke about Putin and Bernie Sanders. Guessing this will go viral soon. pic.twitter.com/VGlmb8BgBF
— MadLib (@MadLibAdLib) February 25, 2020
‘Homophobia! Interesting call, Mike!’
A number of detractors sharply denounced Bloomberg’s campaign team, accusing them of “homophobia”.
Cool so now we can add homophobia to Bloomberg's racism, sexism and transphobia
— Hilary Agro ? (@hilaryagro) February 24, 2020
Homophobia! Interesting call, Mike!
— Cam Kasky (@cameron_kasky) February 24, 2020
"Guys I know I sexually harassed 64 woman, and violated the civil Rights of minorities while implying they deserve it but it's fine because homophobic joke" – some oligarch who's not going to be president
— Carl Carlington ✨ (@carl_carlington) February 24, 2020
Many users also pointed out that it was difficult to discern whether the hash tagged quotes were factual or not.
The team was even forced to clarify amid accusations of misinformation that “all of these are satire”, The Guardian reported, “with the exception of the 60 Minutes clip from last night.”
However, the thread has since become a chain of “This tweet is unavailable. Learn more”, after either Team Bloomberg admins or Twitter moderators removed the tweets.
#BREAKING: either Bloomberg campaign deleted their #BernieOnDespots tweets, or Twitter did. I'd guess it wasn't Twitter. Thread starting with "what does he think of other famous despots? We don't know, but here are some guesses" wasn't good enough #utpol https://t.co/Nff6xzxRRQ pic.twitter.com/ZE8B6fNpuX
— Dave Earley (@earleyedition) February 25, 2020
Moreover, the campaign came in the midst of two duelling narratives over whether Russian intelligence officers are interfering with either Trump’s reelection campaign or Sanders’.
Nevertheless, the campaign tactic has since been eclipsed, however, after protesters vandalised the Bloomberg campaign officers in Flint, Michigan, with “Eat the rich”.
Just a regular day in 2020.