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NRA Airs Ad for McDonnell Featuring Bloomberg

Anita Kumar

The National Rifle Association is airing TV ads on behalf of Republican Bob McDonnell targeting New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- and the mob, too.

In the ad, a mobster explains to Virginia voters that it would be in their best interest not to vote for McDonnell if they "know what's good" for them.

"When Mayor Bloomberg got down here, your guy, Bob McDonnell, kicked him out of Virginia, and it was very disrespectful," the man says. "When you vote, I strongly suggest you forget about your freedoms and your Mr. Second Amendment Bob McDonnell."

"I haven't seen the ad; heard about it. I'll leave Virginia politics to Virginians and worry about the politics here," Bloomberg told the New York Times.

The McDonnell-Bloomberg feud has been going on for years. In 2007, Bloomberg sent armed private investigators with hidden cameras into Virginia gun stores to try to make illegal buys because he was convinced that such transactions in the state contributed to violent crime in his city. McDonnell ordered Bloomberg to stop and threatened to charge him and his agents with a felony if they continued to target Virginia gun dealers with undercover sting operations.

A group backed by Bloomberg launched a TV ad in the spring questioning McDonnell's opposition to closing a loophole in Virginia law that allows some private vendors at gun shows to make sales without background checks.

By Anita Kumar  |  October 8, 2009; 11:32 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Campaign Ads , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Sometimes, in the olden days, a politician or an entertainer wanted to get into a big fight with a newspaper. They would be told, never pick a fight with someone (meaning, a newspaper) who buys ink by the barrel.

So, bringing that up to 2009, is it smart to run political ads against a billionaire politician, who buys everything by the barrel? And particularly against Michael Bloomberg, who is the absolute hero and pin-up of all the independent voters I know, even right here in Virginia? Is the idea that independent voters don't matter in this election?

This gross caricature also seems to be kissing off independent or conservative voters with Italian-American ancestry or ties to New York, of which there are more than a few in Virginia today. Ethnic caricatures haven't worked so well for the Republicans in recent races.

Because of the way McDonnell (or rather, the NRA) has done this, with this obnoxious ad, Bloomberg can, if he wishes, directly take on McDonnell in a way that will appeal to independents, and Deeds doesn't even have to be involved in that particular spat. All in all, this ad seems like a dumb move for a candidate supposedly ahead in the polls.

P.S. Strangely, the ad also seems to be an attempt to paint Bob McDonnell as a rural Virginian, or even a pretend Westerner a la Senator Allen's fake cowboy hat, and to paint Creigh Deeds as a city slicker. Um, sorry, no. That dog won't hunt.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | October 8, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

First mocking Senator Deeds for his speech impediment, and now a stereotyping and caricaturization of Italian Americans. Combine that with the gross intolerance exhibited in his thesis, and I think we're starting to see the real McDonnell.

Posted by: BigDaddyD | October 8, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I try not to be sensitive about stuff, but my mom taught me a while back that it wasn't cool to stereotype our Italian heritage as violent thugs. So... can't wait to show her this video!

Posted by: antoniomelias | October 8, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

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