President Donald Trump’s sudden and successful takedown of a known bad guy — Iranian General Qassem Soleimani — has left the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls scrambling for a response. While most issued some sort of criticism of the president, some took aim at each other as well.
On Friday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for calling the killing an “assassination.”
Bernie on the move
For Sanders, the recent killing of Soliemani presented an opportunity to score some political points among voters, and he took it on Friday at a town hall in Anamosa, Iowa.
“Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one,” he said. Sanders went on to back up his position with a flashback to 2002 when he voted against the Iraq War.
“When I voted against the war in Iraq in 2002, I feared that it would result in greater destabilization in that country and in the entire region,” Sanders said. “At that time, I warned about the deadly so-called ‘unintended consequences’ of a unilateral invasion. Today, 17 years later, that fear has unfortunately turned out to be a truth.”
Bloomberg takes aim
After Sanders and others started throwing the word “assassination” around, Bloomberg was asked whether that is the way that he would characterize Soliemani’s death.
“If he [Sanders] was talking about killing the general … this is a guy who had an awful amount of American blood on his hands,” said Bloomberg. “I think that’s an outrageous thing to say.”
“Nobody that I know of,” he continued,” would think that we did something wrong in getting the general.” And, on this one, Bloomberg is spot on.
According to the president, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Soleimani was planning “imminent” action against United States diplomats and personnel. Trump has stated that he “caught” Soleimani “in the act and terminated” him.
This, combined with the fact that Soleimani is already responsible for the deaths of many Americans, obviously makes referring to the takedown as an “assassination” preposterous.
Nonetheless, this looks to be an issue that is really dividing the 2020 Democrats. They just can’t afford to allow Trump any more victories — and he just keeps winning. It’s a Democrat’s nightmare.