Former New York Mayor and Clinton ally Michael Bloomberg is preparing to join the 2020 presidential race.
Bloomberg initially said he wouldn’t run, but suggested last month he would enter the race if Joe Biden’s campaign began to falter. This month, he sent staffers to Alabama to start collecting signatures so he can qualify for the state’s primary.
“Mike believes that Donald Trump represents an unprecedented threat to our nation. We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated – but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that,” explains Bloomberg’s adviser, Howard Wolfson.
“If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch, and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist.”
Bloomberg, like other billionaire Democrats, is frustrated by the party’s rapid slide towards the far left.
Speaking of the far left, candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren seized on Bloomberg’s potential entry as proof the progressive movement is working.
“The billionaire class is scared and they should be scared,” tweeted Sanders.
If Bloomberg declares his candidacy now, he will be doing so less than 100 days before the first caucus and months after the other candidates have established their positions. According to CNBC, he is prepared to spend upwards of $100 million on his presidential campaign.
Bloomberg will be a unique candidate in that he has registered as a Republican, an Independent, and a Democrat. He is also the founder of a global news organization (Bloomberg News) that is viewed as politically neutral.
For Trump fans, Bloomberg offers his experience as a successful businessman with a net worth much larger than Trump’s. For progressives, he offers liberal views on gun control and climate change. To the rest, he brings leadership experience without braggadocio and a realistic worldview.
“While this is not an endorsement, Michael Bloomberg is a friend and I admire his track record as a successful business leader and mayor who finds practical solutions to some of America’s biggest challenges, from creating good jobs to addressing the opioid crisis and fighting for common-sense gun safety,” says Gina Raimondo, chair of the Democratic Governors Association and Governor of Rhode Island.
Despite his experience and wealth, it is unlikely Bloomberg will have time to qualify for the November 20th debate. To do so, he would need 165,000 donors and four polls showing him at 3% or higher by the end of next week.
In response to the news about Bloomberg, President Trump on Friday said there is nobody else he’d rather run against. “He doesn’t have the magic to do well,” said Trump. “Little Michael will fail.”