Michael Bloomberg plans to endorse Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week, the New York Times reports. An adviser to Mr. Bloomberg said the former mayor of New York will support Clinton “from the perspective of a business leader and an independent.” Bloomberg endorsed President Barack Obama when he was running for re-election in 2012. He has not been a member of the Democratic party since 2000. Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York City as a Republican and served for 12 years, and later became an independent.
We’re supposed to be surprised that Michael Bloomberg endorses Hillary? Aren’t they basically the same person? pic.twitter.com/msM2YLyMKb
— Boyda Johnstone (@BoydaJosa) July 24, 2016
Bloomberg explained why he would not run for president this election cycle in a March op-ed titled “The Risk I Will Not Take,” published in Bloomberg View. He noted how he could not risk running as an independent that might help Donald Trump’s aggressive bid for the White House.
“In a three-way race, it’s unlikely that any candidate would win a majority of electoral votes, and then the power to choose the president would be taken out of the hands of the American people and thrown to congress,” Bloomberg wrote.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 24, 2016
Bloomberg also blasted Trump for running the most “divisive and demagogic presidential campaign that I can remember, preying on people’s prejudices and fears.”
He calls Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country a move that “would divide us at home and compromise our moral leadership around the world,” Bloomberg wrote in March. “The end result would be to embolden our enemies, threaten the security of our allies, and put our own men and women in uniform at greater risk,” he added.
Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri said Bloomberg would bring “a unique and important voice that lays out the choice in this election.”
“As a business leader and philanthropist, Michael Bloomberg has lived his values and fought to make a difference for others,” she said.
Richard Dreyfuss takes down ‘lying bully’ Donald Trump https://t.co/PNJVdtkxvO
— The Independent (@Independent) July 24, 2016
Bloomberg had a positive working relationship with Hillary when he served as mayor and she as a senator from New York, notes the Times. Howard Wolfson, a senior adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, told the publication that the Clinton campaign reached out to the billionaire media executive several weeks ago to ask if he would address the convention. Bloomberg reportedly agreed to speak after drafting a speech that reflected his own political views, and he was pleased by the selection of Senator Tim Kaine, a strong supporter of gun control, as Clinton’s running mate. Bloomberg has also been outspoken on gun control, immigration, and climate change issues.
The Democratic convention opens Monday in Philadelphia to formally nominate Hillary Clinton, and President Obama noted in a recent interview that Hillary is the most prepared candidate in modern history to be president.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 24, 2016
“You know, we don’t go vacationing together. I think that I’ve got a pretty clear-eyed sense of both her strengths and her weaknesses,” Obama told CBS’ John Dickerson in an interview for Face the Nation Friday. “And what I would say would be that this is somebody who knows as much about domestic and foreign policy as anybody, is tough as nails, is motivated by what’s best for America and ordinary people, understands that in this democracy that we have — things don’t always happen as fast as we’d like. And it requires compromise and grinding it out.”
“She’s not always flashy. And there are better speech makers. But she knows her stuff. And more than anything, that is what is ultimately required to do a good job in this–in this office.”
Meanwhile, Trump said Obama’s half-brother was “probably treated badly” by the president following his endorsement of the Republican nominee, the Wrap reports.
“Make America Great Again is a great slogan,” Malik Obama said. “I would like to meet him.”
Wow, President Obama’s brother, Malik, just announced that he is voting for me. Was probably treated badly by president-like everybody else!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2016
Michael Bloomberg is expected to endorse Hillary Wednesday in an address at the Democratic National Convention. He will speak on the same night as President Obama and Vice President Biden.
[Photo by Virginia Mayo/AP Images]