The Knoxville, Tennessee campaign office for billionaire presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg was vandalized Thursday night, and Bloomberg’s campaign manager, Kevin Sheekey, has suggested the culprit might be a supporter of rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, though there is no evidence to back that assertion.
However, language that was used in spray painting the building “echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters,” Sheekey said, according to the Daily Caller.
WVLT News said there were no security cameras at the field office, so it might be difficult to find the perpetrators.
The New York Times reported this is not the first such attack. There have been similar incidents in Toledo and Youngstown, Ohio and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“This latest incident at our Knoxville campaign office is exactly what we’ve been warning about,” Sheekey said in a prepared statement quoted by WVLT. “We don’t know who is responsible for this vandalism, but we do know it echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters. Over the past week, we’ve seen similar attacks against Mike Bloomberg 2020 offices in multiple states. Fortunately, no one has been injured. But this needs to end before someone gets hurt. 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 supporters to engage in behavior that has no place in our politics.”
Bloomberg and Sanders tangled during the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas earlier in the week, and there could be a repeat performance when the Democrat candidates have another debate in several days. It was not a good week for Bloomberg.
Vandals spray painted “oligarch,” “authoritarian,” “classist” and “F—k Bloomberg” on the field office doors.
It’s not unheard of for partisans to vandalize the campaign offices of rival candidates, but it does tend to polarize various groups within a political party.
Bloomberg’s entry into the Democrat primary campaign has infuriated some Sanders followers who have a strong dislike for capitalism, which the former New York mayor represents undeniably, being one of the richest men in the country. Bloomberg has spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 million already, and he has reportedly vowed to spend a lot more to defeat Donald Trump in November.
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