Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City who announced Monday that he will not mount a third-party run for president, scorched Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in an editorial.
Bloomberg was openly considering an independent run as part of a bid to stop Trump on the Republican side and Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side.
But in his announcement Monday, Bloomberg said his candidacy could inadvertently help elect Trump or Cruz, the senator from Texas, both of whom he said were unpalatable options.
“As the race stands now, with Republicans in charge of both Houses, there is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz,” Bloomberg wrote. “That is not a risk I can take in good conscience.”
Bloomberg noted that while he and Trump are on “friendly terms,” he said the billionaire real-estate mogul “appeals to our worst impulses” as voters.
“He has run the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people’s prejudices and fears,” Bloomberg wrote. “Abraham Lincoln, the father of the Republican Party, appealed to our ‘better angels.’ Trump appeals to our worst impulses.”
Bloomberg also criticised Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the US and his comments on Mexican immigrants.
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. 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.
Bloomberg put Cruz in the same extreme camp as Trump.
“Senator Cruz’s pandering on immigration may lack Trump’s rhetorical excess, but it is no less extreme,” Bloomberg wrote. “His refusal to oppose banning foreigners based on their religion may be less bombastic than Trump’s position, but it is no less divisive.”
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