Morning Joe Hits Bloomberg for Gun Control, Soda Tax

November 8, 2019

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough and MSNBC political analyst Elise Jordan took likely Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg to task for his gun control and soda tax proposals.

During their discussion of Bloomberg's expected entry into the Democratic primary, Jordan and Scarborough highlighted several of the former New York City mayor's unpopular policy proposals that President Donald Trump will likely use to his advantage. Jordan identified Bloomberg's advocacy of gun control as "a problem with a lot of states that he will frankly need to win." Scarborough focused on the former mayor's "soda tax."

"I'm going to be Debbie Downer right now and say what I think is the biggest political problem that Bloomberg faces. Obama was coming for your guns, Bloomberg is really coming for your guns," Jordan said. "If that was an effective attack line when President Obama was running, I think that Mayor Bloomberg's positions on gun control are going to be a problem with a lot of states that he will frankly need to win if he needs to win the presidency."

Scarborough said he does not know whether guns will be the issue that hurts Bloomberg the most, but offered another Bloomberg proposal that he believes will hurt his candidacy against Trump.

"Two words. Soda tax. Soda tax. That's going to be a challenge for him if he does get past the primaries," Scarborough said. "Can you imagine the fun that Donald Trump would have with Michael Bloomberg?"

"He wanted to even tax your sodas because he thinks he knows better than you know what your family should eat or even drink," Scarborough said, predicting Trump's line of attack.

Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist told Scarborough he was "not kidding" about Trump using the strategy, saying the president "knows how to push those cultural buttons that resonate with a lot of people in this country."

Bloomberg, a billionaire gun-control activist, has spent millions of dollars over the last few years to help Democratic candidates and fund liberal causes. He founded Everytown for Gun Safety, which has spent millions during the last few election cycles to advocate for gun control. Everytown spent at least $2.5 million on Democrats in Virginia this year to help them win majorities in both houses of the state legislature.

Bloomberg has also dropped millions of dollars on ads pushing for taxes on soda or other sugary drinks in cities across the United States. Those efforts have mostly faced heavy opposition, the Washington Free Beacon reported in 2017.