Former NY Mayor Bloomberg to forgo 2020
White House bid, will focus on climate change
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[March 06, 2019]
By James Oliphant
(Reuters) - Former New York City Mayor
Michael Bloomberg will not seek the Democratic nomination for U.S.
president in 2020 but will instead launch an effort aimed at combating
climate change, he said on Tuesday.
A billionaire who could have sunk millions of his own dollars into a
campaign, Bloomberg had publicly toyed with running and has become a
vocal critic of Republican President Donald Trump. He spent millions of
dollars last year helping Democrats retake control of the U.S. House of
Representatives in congressional elections and has invested in
advocating for sweeping gun-control laws.
Bloomberg, 77, made his 2020 announcement in an opinion piece on the
site of Bloomberg News, the company he runs.
He said he was mindful of the difficulty of prevailing in the Democratic
Party nominating primary process, especially given the leftward turn the
party has taken in recent years.
"I believe I would defeat Donald Trump in a general election," Bloomberg
wrote. "But I am clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the
Democratic nomination in such a crowded field."
A former Republican and independent, Bloomberg would have run as a more
moderate candidate among the progressives who currently dominate the
12-member field, which so far largely consists of sitting U.S. senators.
"Many people have urged me to run," he wrote. "Some have told me that to
win the Democratic nomination, I would need to change my views to match
Any path to the nomination for Bloomberg would have been complicated by
the entry of former Vice President Joe Biden, another moderate, into the
race. Biden has said he will decide soon whether to mount a run.
Other possible candidates such as U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio,
Montana Governor Steve Bullock and former U.S. Representative Beto
O'Rourke of Texas are also considering jumping in.
[to top of second column]
Former New York City Mayor and possible 2020 Democratic presidential
candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks at the Institute of Politics at
Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., January 29,
2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Rather than running, Bloomberg said he would use his massive personal
fortune - estimated at more than $50 billion - to launch a new climate
change push, Beyond Carbon, with the goal of moving the nation away from
fossil fuels and toward clean energy sources.
Bloomberg already backs another effort, Beyond Coal, dedicated to
shutting down coal-fired power plants. In 2014, the United Nations
appointed him the first special envoy for cities and climate change to
work with cities globally to combat global warming.
He has ripped Trump as a “climate denier” for pulling the United States
out of the Paris climate agreement.
"I’ve come to realize that I’m less interested in talking than doing,"
Bloomberg wrote. "And I have concluded that, for now, the best way for
me to help our country is by rolling up my sleeves and continuing to get
Bloomberg also founded Everytown for Gun Safety, the nonprofit advocacy
group originally known as Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which has focused
on requiring universal background checks for firearms purchases.
The group has backed candidates for office who support universal checks
and argued against those who oppose them, as well as supporting
state-level gun-control initiatives.
(Reporting by James Oliphant and Ginger Gibson; Editing by Chris Reese
and Peter Cooney)
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