The Bloomberg campaign has lashed out at Bernie Sanders supporters, blaming them for a spate of campaign office vandalizations following a Thursday evening incident in which the billionaire's Knoxville, Tennessee office was spray painted with "Fuck Bloomberg," "oligarch," "classist," and "Authoritarian" on the door.
In response, Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said in a Friday statement that while they have no idea who did it, the vandalism "echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters."
"We call on Bernie Sanders to immediately condemn these attacks and for his campaign to end the Trump-like rhetoric that is clearly encouraging his behaviors to engage in behavior that has no place in our politics," Shakey added.
Vandalism at Mike Bloomberg campaign offices. Latest in Knoxville. His campaign Manager says, “— Edward Lawrence (@EdwardLawrence) February 21, 2020
"We don't know who is responsible for this vandalism, but we do know it echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters.” pic.twitter.com/ts3jPgf1rT
Bloomberg campaign blaming Bernie Sanders for vandalizing their offices, including one in Knoxville, Tenn. today. pic.twitter.com/oQB0gbq1Dy— Lisa Lerer (@llerer) February 21, 2020
According to WVLT, the Knoxville Police Department confirmed that the office was vandalized on Thursday night sometime between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. on Friday, and they are actively investigating. There were no security cameras and there are no suspects.
More from Sheekey's statement:
"The kind of divisive and hateful rhetoric and action we are seeing from Bernie Sanders' supporters has no place in our politics," said Holly McCall, Tennessee's campaign representative. "Over the past week, we've seen similar attacks against Mike Bloomberg 2020 offices in multiple states. Mike Bloomberg believes Democrats need to unite to defeat Donald Trump in November, and as president, he will bring our country together."
The Bloomberg campaign cited a quote from Sanders - "We are a democracy, not an oligarchy. You’re not going to buy this election," as evidence the vandals are Bernie bros.
Tensions between the two camps have been high since Wednesday’s debate in Las Vegas, when Bloomberg, the former New York mayor, flat-out asserted that Sanders would lose the general election to President Donald Trump should he become the Democratic nominee.
At the same debate, Sanders, a U.S. Senator from Vermont and the current Democratic front-runner, was asked about the conduct of some of his more vitriolic supporters – so-called “Bernie Bros” - on social media. He said they made up a tiny fraction of his political base.
“We have over 10.6 million people on Twitter, and 99.9% of them are decent human beings, are working people, are people who believe in justice, compassion, and love,” Sanders said. “And if there are a few people who make ugly remarks ... I disown those people; they are not part of our movement.” -Bloomberg (which has no disclaimer at the bottom)
Sanders and his aides have repeatedly referred to Bloomberg as an oligarch.