WASHINGTON -- The National Rifle Association is turning its sights on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. On Wednesday, the country's largest gun rights group launched a nationwide ad campaign and a website that seek to paint Bloomberg as "a billionaire, elitist hypocrite."
In the ad released Wednesday and titled "Insult," a woman is seen driving a pickup truck on a country road, while a female voice-over says, "Bloomberg tries to ban your snack food, your soda and, most of all, your guns." The 30-second spot concludes, "Hey, Bloomberg: Keep your politics in New York. And keep your hands off our guns and our freedom."
The ad campaign is accompanied by the creation of MeetBloomberg.com, a site aimed at Bloomberg's advocacy for what it calls a "nanny state."
One of the most visible proponents of gun violence prevention, Bloomberg, who left the mayor's office at the end of 2013, has pledged to spend $50 million to build a grassroots network of support for candidates who back stricter gun safety laws. The bulk of that spending will come through the advocacy group he founded, Everytown for Gun Safety.
According to a NRA press release, the "Insult" ad will appear on cable TV stations nationwide and on broadcast stations in the battleground state of Colorado. Similar efforts will debut in the coming weeks in Iowa, Louisiana, Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia -- like Colorado, all states with high-profile Senate races this year. The NRA will also take the campaign to Nevada, home of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), who is up for re-election in 2016.
But the most interesting aspect of the new ad isn't where it will be showing; it's who it is targeted at. Female voters in states like Iowa, Louisiana and elsewhere are key to the Republicans' efforts to win the six seats they need to gain a majority in the U.S. Senate. Expect to see a lot more political ads aimed at women in the coming months.
"Michael Bloomberg has declared war on the NRA and our five million members," said the NRA's chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, in a statement Wednesday. "We will not sit back and let him use his billions of dollars to impose his radical anti-freedom agenda on the American people."