Former Republican and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has endorsed President Barack Obama for a second term, breaking with party politics and citing climate change and Hurricane Sandy among other issues in crossing the aisle and giving Obama a nod for re-election.
Mayor Bloomberg is known in part for his liberal stances on many issues, so his Obama endorsement isn’t a total surprise. However, Bloomberg has conceded that he believes Obama’s strong leadership and candid assessment of issues are reasons to break ranks from Republicans with whom the mayor caucuses and throw his support behind the President just days ahead of the election.
Bloomberg’s Obama endorsement was first posted on the site that bears his name, Bloomberg, in an op-ed titled “A Vote for a President to Lead on Climate Change.” In it, the Mayor cites Obama’s position on a changing climate as his starting point to make a case for re-election.
“We need leadership from the White House — and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. His administration also has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants (an effort I have supported through my philanthropy), which are estimated to kill 13,000 Americans a year.”
Bloomberg then subtly jabs challenger Mitt Romney for changing course on climate change as he moves to the right before adding:
“I believe Mitt Romney is a good and decent man, and he would bring valuable business experience to the Oval Office. He understands that America was built on the promise of equal opportunity, not equal results. In the past he has also taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts.”
Ultimately, Bloomberg says, he was forced to compare and contrast the candidates and considered his children’s future when making the decision. He cites abortion, gay marriage, and the environment and writes:
“One [candidate] believes a woman’s right to choose should be protected for future generations; one does not. That difference, given the likelihood of Supreme Court vacancies, weighs heavily on my decision … One recognizes marriage equality as consistent with America’s march of freedom; one does not. I want our president to be on the right side of history … One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.”
You can read Mayor Bloomberg’s full endorsement of Obama over on Bloomberg Views.