Former New York City mayor and current Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg was campaigning in Vermont last week, when he met a dog. A viral video shows this may have been the first time he’s campaigned to man’s best friend.
In the Jan. 28 video, captured by CBS campaign reporter Nicole Sganga, Bloomberg shakes hands with a constituent, and then proceeds to gingerly grasp the snout of a dog in the room and shake it up and down as if performing a handshake.
The video got a lot of strange reactions, with Time opinion reporter Christopher J. Hale tweeting later that day: “I regret to inform you that Mike Bloomberg attempted to shake a dog’s mouth.”
Two days later, Hale shared a video of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden having a “normal human interaction” with a dog.
Seemingly in response to the backlash, Bloomberg’s campaign released a video the day after the internet went wild over the snout-shake. In the video, New York’s #DogsFurMike group, which includes Bloomberg’s own dogs, Cody and Libby, all offer their endorsements for him as the next president.
But, according to Fox News, this isn’t the first time Bloomberg has shaken a dog by the snout. After the snout scandal, a 2013 image of him shaking a dog — this time a yellow lab — by the snout emerged.
CNN reporter Jeanne Moos insinuated Bloomberg’s strange canine interactions could be a sign he’s doesn’t like them. Stu Loeser, a spokesperson for Bloomberg’s campaign, assured Fox News this is not the case.
“Mike plays with his dogs, he plays with his kids’ dogs, and this video shows him playing with a voter’s dog,” Loeser said. “This is how the experts suggest you play with your dogs to train them.”
According to Loeser, Bloomberg has never met a dog he didn’t like.