Politics

Bernie, Bloomberg Teams Argue Over Who Had A Heart Attack

Christian Datoc Senior White House Correspondent
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Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign press secretary Briahna Joy Gray spent Wednesday morning casting a question about Sanders’ recent heart attack as a “smear campaign,” and in doing so mischaracterized former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s own health history.

“I think that the American people deserve to know exactly as much as every other candidate has released in this race currently and historically,” Joy Gray told CNN’s John Berman. “What you’re seeing right now is really reminiscent of some of the kind of smear, kind of skepticism campaigns that have been run against a lot of different candidates in the past.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 18: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign rally at University of Nevada February 18, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sen. Sanders continues to campaign ahead of the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus on February 22. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 18: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign rally at University of Nevada February 18, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sen. Sanders continues to campaign ahead of the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus on February 22. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“It’s really telling given that none of the same concern is being demonstrated for Michael Bloomberg, who’s the same age as Bernie Sanders, who has suffered heart attacks in the past,” she added of Bloomberg. “And what we’re seeing is a kind of smear campaign.”

Bloomberg’s campaign manager Keven Sheekey released a statement pushing back on Joy Gray’s claim. (RELATED: Sanders Opens Up Big National Lead In New Poll, Bloomberg Passes Biden For Second)

Sheekey clarified that Bloomberg “had two coronary stents” surgically implanted but never suffered a heart attack.

NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 12: Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg delivers remarks during a campaign rally on February 12, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. Bloomberg is holding the rally to mark the beginning of early voting in Tennessee ahead of the Super Tuesday primary on March 3rd. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

NASHVILLE, TN – FEBRUARY 12: Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg delivers remarks during a campaign rally on February 12, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. Bloomberg is holding the rally to mark the beginning of early voting in Tennessee ahead of the Super Tuesday primary on March 3rd. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

“The Bloomberg 2020 campaign released more information about his outstanding health soon after he entered the race,” his statement reads. “Here’s what we know about Sen. Sanders: In October 2019, he had a medical incident in Las Vegas. He didn’t tell the public for days and the full details have never been released. Now his campaign staff is spreading lies about Mike Bloomberg.”

Joy Gray eventually apologized for her comment before accusing Sheekey of perpetuating claims of “racial & sexual harassment” Bloomberg had allegedly allowed to persist at his companies.