Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will not run for president 2016, quelling months of speculation he was considering a bid.
In an op-ed on BloombergView, the billionaire media mogul and political veteran wrote that his decision was based on careful consideration, and thanked supporters. “Over the last several months, many Americans have urged me to run for president as an independent, and some who don’t like the current candidates have said it is my patriotic duty to do so,” he said. “I appreciate their appeals, and I have given the question serious consideration. The deadline to answer it is now, because of ballot access requirements.”
Bloomberg said if he did enter the race, he would not be able to win the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the White House, and he expressed concern his entry to the race could have only deleterious effects.
“In a three-way race, it’s unlikely any candidate would win a majority of electoral votes, and then the power to choose the president would be taken out of the hands of the American people and thrown to Congress,” he wrote. “The fact is, even if I were to receive the most popular votes and the most electoral votes, victory would be highly unlikely, because most members of Congress would vote for their party’s nominee.”
Part of his rationale was that his candidacy would lead to the election of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, or Donald Trump, which he said is a risk he “cannot take in good conscience.” He then singled out Trump for special criticism.
“He has run the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people’s prejudices and fears. Abraham Lincoln, the father of the Republican Party, appealed to our ‘better angels.’ Trump appeals to our worst impulses,” Bloomberg wrote.