Michael Bloomberg Announces Return To Democratic Party

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a political event attended by Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum at the Century Pines Jewish Center in October in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Instagram Wednesday that he has returned to the Democratic Party, saying that the party needs to act as a “checks and balance” against the Republican-led government.

Bloomberg, who left the Democratic Party to run as a Republican for mayor and then switching to an independent through most of his term, supported Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign against now president Donald Trump.

“At key points in U.S. history, one of the two parties has served as a bulwark against those who threaten our Constitution,” Bloomberg said in his social media announcement. “Two years ago at the Democratic Convention, I warned of those threats. Today, I have re-registered as a Democrat – I had been a member for most of my life – because we need Democrats to provide the checks and balance our nation so badly needs.”

CBS News said that Bloomberg had not been a member of the Democratic Party since 2001, but had supported numerous progressive positions, including issues such as climate change, public health, and education.

Bloomberg’s move appeared to fuel speculation that he will possibly join a potentially huge field to run against Trump in 2020.

“It’s impossible to conceive that I could run as a Republican — things like choice, so many of the issues, I’m just way away from where the Republican Party is today,” Bloomberg told the New York Times in September.

“That’s not to say I’m with the Democratic Party on everything, but I don’t see how you could possibly run as a Republican. So if you ran, yeah, you’d have to run as a Democrat,” he continued.

Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor and chief executive officer of Bloomberg L.P., arrives for a morning session of the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 11 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor and chief executive officer of Bloomberg LP, arrives for a morning session of the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 11 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP with a net worth of $48 billion per Forbes magazine, appeared at the Democratic National Convention as an independent in 2016 to bash the possibility of Trump as president, calling himself an “outsider” at the time.

“We’ve heard a lot of talk about needing a leader who understands business,” said Bloomberg at the convention, according to Vanity Fair. “I couldn’t agree more. I built a business and I didn’t start it with a $1 million check from my father.

“Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s running his business? God, help us. I’m a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one,” he continued.

Bloomberg’s potential candidacy could make the race in 2020 Democratic primary the most interesting in years. Rumored as possible candidates include at least three current U.S. senators — Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren, California’s Kamala Harris, and New Jersey’s Cory Booker. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s name has been thrown into the ring along with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.