Michael Bloomberg back for 2020? Former New York City mayor reportedly mulling presidential run

In the meantime, the billionaire businessman is pledging to spend a record $80 million to flip the House in November

By Shira Tarlo

Published June 29, 2018 12:35PM (EDT)

Michael Bloomberg (Getty/Lukas Schulze)
Michael Bloomberg (Getty/Lukas Schulze)

Michael Bloomberg is mulling a 2020 presidential bid, sources told CBS New York. If he pursues a presidential bid, the former Mayor of New York would be the oldest and richest person to seek the job.

Bloomberg, who considered running in 2016 as an Independent, would run as a Democrat, the news outlet reports.

Citing a source close to the former three-term mayor, CBS New York wrote, "the move is fueled in part by regret that he didn't stay in the race in 2016, because he feels he could have either won outright or prevented Donald Trump from winning."

Bloomberg considered a run for the White House in 2008, 2012 and 2016. This time, the former mayor of New York joins a long list of politicians from the area who are said to be considering 2020 presidential runs. Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have expressed a desire to throw their hat in the ring.

With a fortune of $51 billion , Bloomberg probably won't have to hold fundraisers. In 2016 he said he was willing to spend up to $1 billion of his own fortune to finance his campaign.

Recently, Bloomberg's advisers said the former Mayor of New York will spend at least $80 million to support Democratic congressional candidates.

In a statement, Bloomberg called Republican leaders in the House "absolutely feckless," and blasted them for failing to check President Donald Trump and his administration.

"I've never thought that the public is well-served when one party is entirely out of power, and I think the past year and half has been evidence of that," Bloomberg added, bemoaning that Republicans "have done little to reach across the aisle to craft bipartisan solutions — not only on guns and climate change, but also on jobs, immigration, health care, and infrastructure."

Bloomberg continued, "Republicans in Congress have had almost two years to prove they could govern responsibly. They failed."

Representative Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey said the former mayor could be most helpful in many of the biggest "purple-ish" states which Democrats hope to paint a solid blue. Democrats are seeking to target more than three-dozen Republican-held seats in suburban areas around big cities including near Los Angeles and Sacramento, and in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley.

"He plays very well in the moderate suburbs where we need to win seats," Gottheimer told the New York Times. "From my perspective, I want more pro-business, moderate Democrats in Congress next year."

Baruch College Professor Doug Muzzio said Bloomberg is smart for getting involved in the congressional races.

"That's a political chits," Muzzio told CBS New York. "That's a lot of winners or loyal losers so one can look at it cynically and say he’s building a political organization, a political base."

But Bloomberg has not held his reservations about the Democrats. According to the New York Times, he "has indicated to aides that he only wants to support candidates who share his relatively moderate political orientation, avoiding nominees hailing from the populist left."

In his statement, he blasted Democrats campaigning on impeaching Trump, saying "Nothing could be more irresponsible."

And a new poll obtained by The Hill suggests Bloomberg has a long way to go to becoming the party's favorite. Joe Biden was the top choice of 32 percent of Democrats. Hillary Clinton came in second with 18 percent and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was third with 16 percent.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., got 6 percent, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg got 3 percent, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., got 2 percent, while Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo each got 1 percent.

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Shira Tarlo

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Elections 2020 Elections 2018 Michael Bloomberg