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15 Feb, 2020 19:51

Hillary for VP is ‘speculation’? Bloomberg campaign brushes aside, but stops short of denying, Clinton ‘running mate’ claim

Hillary for VP is ‘speculation’? Bloomberg campaign brushes aside, but stops short of denying, Clinton ‘running mate’ claim

A spokesman for Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg has brushed off a report he’s considering taking on Hillary Clinton as a running mate without denying the rumor, and reaction on Twitter was unstoppable.

Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report claimed on Saturday that Bloomberg’s campaign considers the idea of a Mike/Hillary ticket a “formidable force.” Citing sources “close to” the campaign, Drudge said that Bloomberg would go as far as changing his official residence from New York to one of his properties in Colorado or Florida, “since the electoral college makes it hard for a POTUS and VPOTUS from the same state.”

Hillary for VP is ‘speculation’? Bloomberg campaign brushes aside, but stops short of denying, Clinton ‘running mate’ claim

However, Clinton has spent much of the last three years disputing the results of the 2016 election, blaming Russia, the FBI, Bernie Sanders, sexism, and more for her loss to Donald Trump. As such, rumors of her planned entry into the 2020 race have repeatedly surfaced, only to be shot down by her communications team.

Bloomberg’s campaign downplayed the latest report, with Bloomberg communication director Jason Schechter apparently calling it “speculation” in a statement.

We are focused on the primary and the debate, not VP speculation.

Taking Clinton on board would not be completely out of the blue for Bloomberg though. A former Republican, Bloomberg endorsed Clinton for president in 2016, and according to Donald Trump, was offered a position in Clinton’s administration in return. Emails released by WikiLeaks in 2016 seemed to confirm this, with Bloomberg and Clinton aides brainstorming an array of positions for the former mayor, from ambassador to China, to Secretary of State.

Whatever their history, Clinton’s team likely aren’t receptive to the idea, former aide Zerlina Maxwell told MSNBC. Maxwell said she was “highly skeptical” of the report, and called Bloomberg a “deeply flawed” candidate and a “defective” product, whose position in the crowd of Democratic hopefuls has been bolstered by his multi-million dollar advertising spend.

As commentators groaned at the thought of a Clinton/Trump rematch by proxy, the right used the report to drum up support. “Both Bloomberg and Clinton will confiscate our guns,” the National Rifle Association (NRA) declared. “There has never been a more critical time to stand and fight.”

With Bloomberg already having pumped some $300 million into advertising since announcing his candidacy in November, some commentators saw the report as yet another of the wily billionaire's publicity stunts. "It worked like a charm," conservative pundit Mark Dice wrote, "he's a sly devil."

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