WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, is opening the door once again to a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, signaling his dissatisfaction with the current crop of candidates vying to take on President Donald Trump.
Bloomberg has flirted with running for president any number of times, and has told friends he regretted not running in 2016. This time, he might actually dip his big tow in the water, reported CBS2’s Marcia Kramer.
“Certainly adds another dynamic to our backdrop,” Manhattan resident Matt Dermer told CBS2’s Valerie Castro
Bloomberg has not made a final decision on whether to run, according to advisers, but he is taking steps toward a campaign, including filing to get on the ballot in Alabama’s presidential primary. Alabama has an early filing deadline and is among the states that vote on Super Tuesday, named for the large number of state contests that day. Bloomberg is sending aides to Alabama to gather signatures to qualify for the primary there. Sources told Kramer that would reserve his right to enter the race, if he decides to.
Howard Wolfson, advisor to Mike Bloomberg, issued a statement Thursday night:
“Mike believes that Donald Trump represents an unprecedented threat to our nation. In 2016, he spoke out at the Democratic Convention, warning against a Trump presidency. In 2018 he spent more than $100 million to help elect Democrats to ensure that Congress began to hold the President accountable. And this year he helped Democrats win control of both houses of the Virginia legislature. We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that. If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist. Based on his record of accomplishment, leadership and his ability to bring people together to drive change, Mike would be able to take the fight to Trump and win.”
Bloomberg flirted with a presidential run earlier this year, visiting early voting states and conducting extensive polling. He ultimately decided against a run, citing in part the apparent strength of former Vice President Joe Biden, a fellow moderate.
“Bloomberg was a patriot here in New York.”
Political analyst Hank Sheinkopf says he could have a shot, despite his status as a billionaire – a fact snubbed by several of the democratic candidates like Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
She tweeted “welcome to the race,” along with a link to a calculator for billionaires that sums up her proposed wealth tax plan.
Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted, “the billionaire class is scared and they should be scared.”
“Some people will attack him cause he’s rich, others will say wait a second, I want to be a billionaire too,” Sheinkopf added.
Bloomberg is said to have become increasingly worried about the direction of the Democratic primary as more liberal candidates like Sen. Warren have gained in popularity.
In a statement on Thursday, Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said the former mayor is worried that the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates is “not well positioned” to defeat Trump.
“Mike believes that Donald Trump represents an unprecedented threat to our nation… Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that. If Mike runs, he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch, and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high impact philanthropist,” Wolfson said.
Bloomberg won’t have to do much fundraising if he moves forward. In the past, he’s said he’d be willing to spend a billion dollars of his own money on a campaign.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)