Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday that he will not mount a campaign for president as an independent, citing internal polling data which showed that his involvement in a three-way race would overwhelmingly favor the GOP nominee.
In an essay published on Bloomberg View entitled “The Risk I Will Not Take”, Mr. Bloomberg mentioned Ted Cruz and Donald Trump specifically as two candidates the country can not afford to elect because of their extreme views on immigration, trade, and religious liberty.
“Extremism is on the march”, Bloomberg wrote. “And unless we stop it, our problems at home and abroad will grow worse.”
While Bloomberg does not have the national name recognition of Trump or Clinton, the New York media billionaire was very close to launching a presidential bid. According to anonymous advisers, if Bernie Sanders had performed better in the Democratic primaries to-date, Bloomberg would have run.
In fact, Bloomberg’s lawyers reportedly vetted retired Admiral and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, who Bloomberg was targeting as his running mate.
An exploratory campaign committee also ran TV ads which highlighted Bloomberg’s life-story as a philanthropic, self-made billionaire with a middle-class background, tested slogans such as “All Work and No Party”, and opened offices in Texas and North Carolina.
Private polling commissioned by Bloomberg in 22 states revealed that in a hypothetical general election match-up between Sanders and Trump, Bloomberg had a chance to win 201 electoral votes — more than either major party candidate.
In an election with Clinton and Trump, however, the former mayor found that he would only stand to win 75 electoral votes in those same 22 states.
While Mr. Bloomberg has decided not to enter the spotlight of national politics, he pledged to support the candidate(s) that offer common sense solutions to America’s challenges.
In concluding his essay, Bloomberg offered the following words:
“For most Americans, citizenship requires little more than paying taxes. But many have given their lives to defend our nation — and all of us have an obligation as voters to stand up on behalf of ideas and principles that, as Lincoln said, represent ‘the last best hope of earth.'”
[New York Times] [Bloomberg View]