Billionaire Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign on Monday blamed Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders for a recent attack on Bloomberg’s Chicago campaign office. Vandals spray-painted the words “racist,” “sexist,” “GOP,” and “oligarch” in graffiti across the former New York City mayor’s Chicago campaign office over the weekend, according to a Monday report from the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Yet again, one of our campaign offices has been vandalized with derogatory language — using the word ‘oligarch’ — in an act of hate,” campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said in a statement on Monday. “We cannot, and will not, tolerate these acts. While we do not know who is directly responsible, we do know Senator Bernie Sanders and his campaign have repeatedly invoked this language, and the word ‘oligarch’ specifically when discussing Mike Bloomberg and his campaign.”
New Bloomberg press release blames @BernieSanders for the recent vandalism of his Chicago campaign office, arguing that whoever spray-painted "oligarch" was inspired by Sanders. He calls it an "act of hate." pic.twitter.com/15gcdbD851
— Alice Miranda Ollstein (@AliceOllstein) February 24, 2020
Sheekey further contended that Sanders, who has used the term “oligarch” to describe Bloomberg, illustrated his lack of leadership by failing to condemn the act.
“Sen. Sanders’ refusal to denounce these illegal acts is a sign of his inability to lead, and his willingness to condone and promote Trump-like rhetoric has no place in our politics,” Sheekey said. “Fortunately, no one has been injured. But this needs to end before someone gets hurt. No one should have to live in fear of coming to work, and Sen. Sanders must call on his supporters – including his campaign staff – to elevate the discourse in this campaign and end their spread of hateful rhetoric.”
Monday marked the second time Sheekey pinned blame for criminal vandalism on Sanders’s rhetoric toward the ultra-wealthy. Last week, the campaign’s Knoxville, Tennessee office was spray-painted with “F*ck Bloomberg” as well as the term “oligarch.”
In his closing remarks during last week’s Democratic presidential debate in Nevada, Sanders said that “real change never takes place from the top on down, never takes place from an oligarchy controlled by billionaires.”
It looks like things will only ratchet up from here.
NEW: Mike Bloomberg's campaign is preparing a media onslaught against Bernie Sanders. Opposition research, more digital ads, op-eds and surrogate TV appearances are all in the works to attack the Democratic front runner. https://t.co/AZ1lXEFyif
— Brian Schwartz (@schwartzbCNBC) February 24, 2020
[image via Scott Olson/Getty Images]