Billionaire and former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg is reassuring the American public that he will not seek to abolish presidential term limits if elected president. Per Politico, during a wide-ranging interview with MSNBC, Bloomberg — who infamously extended term limits, serving three terms as New York City mayor — said that changing the United States Constitution is not on his mind.
“I will not try to change the Constitution, that’s correct,” he said, after espousing “a bit of revisionist history,” as Politico put it, and suggesting that he did not have much to do with New York City Council’s decision to extend mayoral term limits when he was in office. “Keep in mind it was my City Council that did it. I just signed the bill,” he said.
This is not entirely true, according to those familiar with New York City politics. Randy Mastro, who represented plaintiffs in a lawsuit that tried to block the term limits change, explained to the publication that Bloomberg did his best to woo big business and media — while lobbying city council members — in order to serve a third term.
“It’s what people who don’t have a real appreciation for democracy and respecting the will of the voters do. They make special rules for themselves,” Mastro said, explaining that Bloomberg focused on gaining control over the city council because voters had twice approved referendums imposing a two-term limit.
On the campaign trail, Bloomberg has cracked jokes about extending term limits while serving as New York City mayor. During a speech at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, he said, “being a mayor is the best job in the world. I loved it for 12 years. And I would urge all of you to do 12 years. And if you have a minor problem like limits, change the law.”
Much like Bloomberg, President Donald Trump has also joked about abolishing term limits and suggested that he might stay in the White House for at least eight more years.
Bloomberg joined the crowded Democratic Party primary field in November 2019. The billionaire has skipped the key early states, choosing to focus most of his resources on Super Tuesday contests. He is spending an unprecedented amount of money on advertisement campaigns and apparently looking to generate support by blanketing the airwaves with ads.
In a recent interview, Bloomberg said that he will stay in the primary race “right to the bitter end.” The former New York City mayor explained that — if another candidate ends up with a plurality, but not a majority, of the delegates — he plans on staying in the competition until the convention.