Michal Bloomberg confirmed he is thinking about a run for President of the United States, a move sure to send out warning signals to members of both parties.
The former mayor of New York City and owner of a multimedia enterprise, Bloomberg told the Financial Times he is “looking at all the options” regarding a run for the White House that would significantly alter the 2016 election.
“I find the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters,” Bloomberg told the financial newspaper.
This comes the day that voters in New Hampshire are voting in the nation’s first primary and a week after Iowa’s caucus. Last month, the New York Times reported the billionaire businessman had commanded his advisers to develop a plan for a presidential candidacy that would involve him running as an independent and spend up to $1 billion of his own money. This would make Bloomberg’s investment higher than the one made by Donald Trump, the Republican candidate who has boasted about putting in his own money into his campaign.
Bloomberg was elected as a Republican to become New York’s mayor in 2002, just months after the Sept. 11 attacks propelled a friend of his—Rudy Giuliani—to national popularity. His own popularity, and money, enabled him to not only win reelection four years later but change the city’s laws to allow him to run for and win an unprecedented third term as the top man in Gotham City.
While Bloomberg is significantly conservative over financial issues, his liberal stance on public regulation and social issues—especially gun control and the environment—would appeal to Democrats turned off by a Bernie Sanders nomination or tired of the Clinton family. That could be beneficial to a Republican candidate seeking inroads in battleground states.
Of course, he would also need to raise his name recognition outside of New York and his favorability. In a poll conducted by Ann Selzer for the Des Moines Register, Bloomberg’s positives were extremely low: just nine percent among Republicans and 17 percent from Democrats.