- Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York mayor, is exploring a run for the presidency in 2020.
- The media mogul – a former Republican – would run as a centrist Democrat.
- Despite his allegiance to the Democratic Party, Bloomberg has clear differences with mainstream and liberal Democrats on issues including policing, Wall Street regulation, and the #MeToo movement.
Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York mayor, is considering a run for the presidency in 2020 – as a centrist Democrat, The New York Times reported Monday.
The media mogul, who was elected mayor as a Republican and independent, is spending $US80 million on this year’s midterm elections, largely supporting Democrats running for the House in a bid to flip the chamber. And he’s denounced the GOP in no uncertain terms – expressing particular disagreement with his former party on issues he’s championed, including gun control and environmental protection.
“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 told the Times. “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. So if you ran, yeah, you’d have to run as a Democrat.”
Despite his allegiance to the Democratic Party, Bloomberg has clear differences with mainstream and liberal Democrats on issues including policing, Wall Street regulation, and the #MeToo movement. His candidacy would surely be anathema to the progressive left.
In an interview with the Times, he defended New York’s former stop-and-frisk policy, insisting that the practice – which in 2013 was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge for the policy’s racially discriminatory effect – had avoided violating individuals’ civil rights while helping lower the city’s crime rate. Bloomberg also questioned whether the movement to hold accountable perpetrators of sexual misconduct has gone too far. And he’s broken with progressive Democrats like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on her stance on bank regulation.
But Bloomberg has received an enthusiastic welcome into the Democratic fold over the last few years, winning praise from House minority leader Nancy Pelosi.
“His name is synonymous with excellence,” Pelosi said at a dinner San Francisco recently. “And he knows how to get the job done.”
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