, NEW YORK, Mar 8 – US billionaire Michael Bloomberg announced Monday that he would not run for the White House, fearing that his candidacy could hand the presidency to Republican usurpers Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
The 74-year-old former New York mayor spent months considering an independent run for the White House, expressing dismay about a 2016 race dominated by the insult-flinging Trump, the current Republican frontrunner.
Bloomberg said he had been urged to step into the race and perform his “patriotic duty” by some opposed to the current candidates.
“But when I look at the data, it’s clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win,” he said in a statement published by his Bloomberg news agency.
“There is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz. That is not a risk I can take in good conscience.”
The New York Times reported in January that Bloomberg had instructed advisers to draft plans for a potential independent presidential bid that could see him spend at least $1 billion of his estimated $40 billion fortune.
Associates told the Times that he was alarmed by the rise of Trump on the extreme right wing of the Republican Party and troubled by Hillary Clinton’s lurch to the left in a bid to contain democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.