Eager to signal his intentions to run for president and prove his presence as an independent candidate, President Trump on Friday run two Super Bowl commercials.
In the ads, Trump continues his attack on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. First the president's team released a 30-second spot that features Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld and rapper/singer J. Cole and takes shots at the mayor. It's produced by Marriott International, which is headquartered in Trump's hometown of New York City.
I won’t have Trump for a third time, but I’m looking forward to spending another night in New York with the Mayor, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, J. Cole and Marriott hotel! pic.twitter.com/ShPwCscCe5 — Eric Trump () February 2, 2020
"Mike Bloomberg. Not one friend to New York City. Just a billionaire looking for friends," says a male voice off-camera in the ad. "I’m Eric Trump, son of Donald Trump, so let’s see what big brother can do for us, because he understands us.”
The commercial ends with the text: "Jobs, Security, Empowerment, Opportunity."
Bloomberg's team followed with another ad in which Trump hammers him for reneging on a campaign promise in the 1990s. In order to beat back the Donald's 1992 campaign challenge, Bloomberg nearly gave up drinking after drinking until he ran out of money.
"I thought there was no way that I'd drink for another four years. Not tonight," says a business-minded version of Bloomberg in the ad. "But there you have it.”
Trump responded in a tweet after the commercial aired: "A pity I didn't wait til after the Super Bowl to run this terrible ad. That would be an all time high."
A pity I didn't wait til after the Super Bowl to run this terrible ad. That would be an all time high. — Donald J. Trump () February 2, 2020
Bloomberg rejected the suggestion that he released the ad to draw attention to his likely presidential candidacy in 2020.
Bloomberg spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia in a statement attributed the ad to concerns that Trump "is holding hostage our communities and our economy in order to achieve an immigration reform he opposes."
"We hope this powerful message will contribute to the ability of leaders from both parties to find the common ground we need to achieve bipartisan immigration reform that will benefit all Americans," Cohlmia added.
On Thursday, Bloomberg said he will run as an independent candidate.
"Some have suggested that an independent candidacy, and the attention it would draw, would be enough to scare Republicans into supporting Hillary Clinton. But that is not going to happen," Bloomberg said in a statement to reporters. "After a year of considering a candidacy, I am now ready to run.”
In addition to the tweet, Trump also suggested Saturday that Bloomberg was relying on his father for support.
Michael Bloomberg needs his father’s endorsement. Is that still a possibility if he runs as an independent? — Donald J. Trump () February 2, 2020
Gareth Porter is the author of "Disharmony: The Plot to Control America through the Elected, the Self-Proclaimed and the Complicit Media."