Bloomberg Opts Out of 2020 Presidential Race
Former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will not be entering the already sizable field of Democratic candidates hoping to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.
Bloomberg, who joined the Democratic party last year in anticipation of making a run for the White House, said in a Bloomberg News column published Tuesday afternoon that he will instead use his enormous personal fortune to accelerate the nation’s transition to renewable energy in the face of stiff opposition from the fossil fuel-friendly Trump administration.
The self-made billionaire acknowledged that he considered a run, explaining that “every day when I read the news, I grow more frustrated by the incompetence in the Oval Office.”
But in the end, he said, he is “clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field.”
“It’s essential that we nominate a Democrat who will be in the strongest position to defeat Donald Trump and bring our country back together,” he continued. “We cannot allow the primary process to drag the party to an extreme that would diminish our chances in the general election and translate into ‘Four More Years.’”
Bloomberg reportedly made his decision not to run over the weekend and notified his advisers on Monday.
According to The New York Times, polling and focus groups done by Bloomberg’s backers showed he did have a path to the Democratic nomination, but that odds would swing against him if former Vice President Joe Biden entered the race. Both men are considered moderates.
It’s unclear how Bloomberg’s decision will influence Biden, who has reportedly been courting staff and donors and is expected to make his intentions about 2020 known soon.
Bloomberg indicated that he will continue to support Democrats and the Democratic cause, noting that he spent more than $100 million in 2018 to help the party prevail in the midterm elections.
“Republicans in Congress had failed — and are still failing — to fulfill their constitutional duty to hold the president accountable. Instead, they indulge his worst impulses and refuse to work with Democrats on the most urgent issues,” he said of his continued frustration with the GOP.
Bloomberg said he will also work to expand Beyond Coal, an initiative he established in 2011 after Congress failed to pass cap and trade legislation. Working with the Sierra Club and community organizations, Beyond Coal resulted in the closure of some 285 coal-fired power plants.
The new effort, to be called Beyond Carbon, will seek to retire the nation’s remaining 245 coal-fired power plants over the next 11 years.
In addition to his new climate campaign, Bloomberg said he would redouble his efforts to enact gun-control regulations around the country.