NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s official – former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has filed for the presidential primary in Alabama.
It’s the first time in all of his presidential attempts that he’s actually filed papers.
A political adviser for Bloomberg says the current crop of Democrats in the 2020 field has left the billionaire-turned-politician feeling like the Democratic Party needs another alternative.
He says they’ve also done polls.
President Trump had a lot to say about Bloomberg’s 2020 run.
“I’ve known Michael Bloomberg a long time. You go back, early on, he said a lot of great things about Trump. But I know Michael, he became just a nothing, he’s really a nothing,” the president said.
“He’s not going to do well, but I think he’s going to hurt Biden actually, but he doesn’t have the magic to do well. He will not do very well and if he did, I’d be happy. There is nobody I’d rather run against than little Michael, that I can tell you.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 8, 2019
Depending on how you count it, this is either the fourth or fifth time Bloomberg has thought about running for president, reports CBS2’s political reports Marica Kramer.
If you count his decision earlier this year to sit out the 2020 election, his decision to change his mind makes this number five.
“The truth of the matter is when you look at the layout of whose going to vote, and where the country is, I would be very unlikely to get reelected, to get elected,” said Bloomberg just two months ago. “But in the private sector, I could make a difference.”
Now he’s walking that back, filing papers ahead of Friday’s filing deadline in Alabama to get his name on the ballot.
So what changed?
His belief, according to advisor Howard Wolfson, is that “Donald Trump represents an unprecedented threat to our nation.”
Add to that concerns about the strength of the 2020 field, and a renewed optimism about Democratic chances after the outcome of the elections in Virginia where his investments and gun control advocacy helped Democrats win control of the general assembly.
Don’t underestimate his dislike of fellow New Yorker Donald Trump.
“I’m a New Yorker and I know a con when I see one,” said Bloomberg.
Donald Trump returned the favor, calling Bloomberg “Little Mike.”
Entering the race, Bloomberg has the same plus and minuses he had when he opted out a few months ago.
On one side of the ledger, he’s a moderate, common sense, pragmatist who doesn’t have to worry about raising money. On the other, he’s a 77-year-old Jewish billionaire.
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” Mike Bloomberg, along with a link to a calculator for billionaires that sums up her proposed wealth tax plan.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 7, 2019
The billionaire class is scared and they should be scared.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 7, 2019
“Some people will attack him cause he’s rich, others will say wait a second, I want to be a billionaire too,” said Sheinkopf.
So the “will he or won’t he?” speculation continues, but with moderate Joe Bidden’s star appearing to fall, there are many Democrats who say, “welcome aboard.”