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Ex-Obama aides say Bloomberg-Obama relationship more ‘complicated’ than his ads portray

Multiple former Obama administration personnel are pushing back against TV spots by former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg that they say falsely imply Obama is backing Bloomberg’s presidential bid.

Former National Security Council spokesman and Pod Save America co-host Tommy Vietor tweeted Tuesday, “It’s jarring to see all these Bloomberg ads that suggest Obama has endorsed him, especially considering how…perfunctory his endorsement of Obama was back in 2012.” 

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Ahead of Obama’s reelection, Bloomberg wrote that Obama had “devoted little time and effort to developing and sustaining a coalition of centrists” and “engaged in partisan attacks and has embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it,” according to HuffPost.

Dan Pfeiffer, Vietor’s podcast co-host, said Tuesday, “Did they work together on issues? Absolutely. I think these ads tell a story that is belied by the reality of that relationship that I think is somewhat complicated.”

Bloomberg’s ads, which have blanketed the airwaves even as the former mayor declines to participate in early-voting states, feature footage of the two together at a 2013 event on gun violence, as well as a clip of Obama saying Bloomberg “has been a leader throughout the country for the past 12 years.”

Obama’s 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe tweeted that he had been asked “why Barack Obama chose Bloomberg over the rest of the field,” though the former president has made no 2020 endorsement.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has played up his own association with Obama in his campaign, expressed annoyance at a fundraiser in New York, HuffPost reported, saying, “the advertising I’ve seen, you’d think that Mike was Barack’s vice president.”

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