New York, United States, Sep 18 – Billionaire ex-mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg is considering a presidential bid to oust Donald Trump, he told The New York Times in an interview published Monday — but this time as a Democrat, and no longer an independent.
The 76-year-old owner and founder of his eponymous financial data and media company told the newspaper he is floating the idea of running for president in 2020, but not yet ready to decide.
For now, he’s “working on this Nov. 6 election, and after that I’ll take a look at it,” he said, referring to the upcoming midterm vote.
But one thing is certain: “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 said.
“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,” he said.
“So if you ran, yeah, you’d have to run as a Democrat.”
As an independent he served as New York’s mayor for three consecutive terms — after obtaining a waiver to the two-term limit — and has considered campaigning for the White House in 2008, 2012 and 2016, each time ultimately throwing in the towel.
But since the ascent of Trump, Bloomberg — who has made the battle against climate change his primary cause — has become a vocal critic of the Republicans.
In November’s looming elections, he has opted to only financially back Democrats — who hope to regain the majority in Congress — despite having supported candidates across the spectrum in past votes.
It is not clear, however, that Democrats would see a Bloomberg ticket in a positive light.
Though their stances align on subjects including climate change and gun control, the billionaire might find little support among the activist left currently shaking up the party, who boast a strong anti-elite, anti-Wall Street line and are pushing for more women and minority candidates.
In his interview with the Times, Bloomberg also voiced doubts about some accusations that sprang from the #MeToo movement.
He cited the example of disgraced television anchor Charlie Rose, who for years broadcast his talk show from the Bloomberg offices before he was sacked from CBS at the end of 2017.
“The stuff I read about is disgraceful — I don’t know how true all of it is,” Bloomberg said of the movement that has empowered women to expose endemic sexual abuse and harassment in the workplace.
“Let the court system decide,” he said, though he acknowledged many claims might never be judged in a legal setting.