Michael Bloomberg has decided against mounting a third-party run for president in election 2016.
Bloomberg may have been scared off by fellow mogul Donald Trump.
The former three-term mayor of New York City, Bloomberg is a Democrat turned Republican turned Independent, who seriously considered presenting himself to the American people as a “centrist” and spending a billion dollars to win the White House in the process.
The billionaire founder of Bloomberg L.P., the financial data and media company, is perhaps best known for his gun control advocacy and funding several organizations — such as Everytown for Gun Safety— with that in mind, as well as his war on Slurpees and other large sugary drinks in the five boroughs. “The former mayor is also pro-choice and liberal on many social issues,” the Wall Street Journalnoted.
Bloomberg has spoken out against political correctness, however, and supported the city’s now-abandoned police stop-and-frisk policy.
Had Bloomberg entered the campaign for the White House as an Independent, conceivably there would have been three super-rich New Yorkers in the running (Trump, Bloomberg, and Hillary Clinton–by way of Arkansas and other states), two of whom are billionaires and one of whom is a multimillionaire.
Assuming the two front-runners get their respective party’s nominations, the likelihood is that Michael Bloomberg would have taken votes away from Clinton, which would have helped to elect Donald Trump or another Republican.
Bloomberg’s stated reason, as articulated in a long editorial on BloombergView, for not running for president is that a three-way split in the Electoral College among the major candidates would have tossed the election to the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, who in that scenario will select the Republican standard-bearer.
“…As the race stands now, with Republicans in charge of both Houses, there is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz. That is not a risk I can take in good conscience. I have known Mr. Trump casually for many years, and we have always been on friendly terms. I even agreed to appear on ‘The Apprentice’ — twice. But he has run the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people’s prejudices and fears. Abraham Lincoln, the father of the Republican Party, appealed to our ‘better angels.’ Trump appeals to our worst impulses. Senator Cruz’s pandering on immigration may lack Trump’s rhetorical excess, but it is no less extreme….”
Bloomberg also chided the Democrats for attacking “policies that spurred growth and opportunity under President Bill Clinton — support for trade, charter schools, deficit reduction and the financial sector.”
The ex-mayor added that he is not ready to endorse any candidate yet, but it is probably predictable who that might be, if an endorsement is forthcoming.
According to the New York Times, Michael Bloomberg was serious about the possibility of a presidential candidacy including lawyering-up to get on the ballot as an Independent in all 50 states, as well as establishing a potential field organization.
“Convinced that a restive electorate was crying out for nonpartisan, technocratic government, he instructed his closest aides to set up the machinery for a long-shot billion-dollar campaign that would have subjected his image to a scorching political test. They covertly assembled network of several dozen strategists and staff members, conducted polling in 22 states, drafted a website, produced television ads and set up campaign offices in two states — Texas and North Carolina — where the process of gathering petitions to put Mr. Bloomberg’s name on the ballot would have begun in days.”
Do you think Michael Bloomberg made the proper decision in ruling out a chance to run for president?
[Photo by Ruth Fremson/AP]