NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said he plans to endorse Hillary Clinton , citing his distaste for GOP candidate Donald Trump, the New York Times reported.
“As the nation’s leading independent and a pragmatic business leader, Mike has supported candidates from both sides of the aisle,” Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said in a statement Sunday. “This week in Philadelphia he will make a strong case that the clear choice in this election is Hillary Clinton.”READ MORE: Paterson Mother Charged With Murder In 7-Year-Old's Death
The decision comes after the businessman expressed uncertainty as to who he would endorse, saying in May that he was “not sure” on what he was going to do.
Bloomberg decided earlier this year not to pursue the White House as an independent, and in announcing that decision blasted Trump for running “the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember.”
The billionaire media mogul opted against running as a third-party candidate for fear it might siphon away votes from Clinton and help elect Republican Donald Trump.
Bloomberg has been sharply critical of Trump, and in particular of his fellow New Yorker’s inflammatory rhetoric on immigration.
“Threatening to bar foreign Muslims from entering the country is a direct assault on two of the core values that gave rise to our nation: religious tolerance and the separation of church and state,” Bloomberg said at the time. “Attacking and promising to deport millions of Mexicans, feigning ignorance of white supremacists, and threatening China and Japan with a trade war are all dangerously wrong, too. These moves would divide us at home and compromise our moral leadership around the world. The end result would be to embolden our enemies, threaten the security of our allies, and put our own men and women in uniform at greater risk.”READ MORE: 3 Teens Charged In Manhattan Subway Attacks, Police Release Video Of New Suspect Believed To Be Group's Lookout
Bloomberg’s name popped up on the 2016 radar following reports he would consider running if Trump or Cruz took the Republican nomination and if Sen. Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side.
The Clinton campaign has welcomed the news.
“As a business leader and philanthropist, Michael Bloomberg has lived his values and fought to make a difference for others,” Jennifer Palmieri, communications director for the Clinton campaign said in a statement Sunday.
Bloomberg was elected to New York City mayor on the Republican ticket.
He has not been affiliated with the Democratic Party since 2000.
Sources tell CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer Bloomberg plans to officially endorse Clinton at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)MORE NEWS: Pro-Palestine Protesters Block Traffic On Gowanus Expressway