Former mayor is eyeing Trump
MICHAEL Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, is opening the door to a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, warning that the field of candidates is ill-equipped to defeat President Donald Trump.
Mr Bloomberg, who initially ruled out a 2020 run, has not made a final decision on whether to jump into the race.
If he were to launch a campaign, it could dramatically reshape the Democratic contest less than three months before primary voting begins.
The 77-year-old (pictured) has spent the past few weeks talking with prominent Democrats about the state of the 2020 field, expressing concerns about the steadiness of former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign and the rise of liberal Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, according to people with knowledge of those discussions.
In recent days, he took steps to keep his options open, including moving to get on the primary ballot in Alabama ahead of the state’s filing deadline before the weekend.
In a statement yesterday, Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said the former mayor believes Mr Trump “represents an unprecedented threat to our nation” and must be defeated.
“But Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that,” Mr Wolfson said.
Mr Bloomberg’s moves come as the Democratic race enters a crucial phase. Mr Biden’s frontrunner status has been vigorously challenged by Senator Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who are flush with cash from smalldollar donors. But both are viewed by some Democrats as too liberal to win in an election face-off with Mr Trump.
Mr Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent who registered as a Democrat last year, has flirted with a presidential run before but ultimately backed down.
Mr Bloomberg plunged his efforts – and his money – into gun control advocacy and climate change initiatives. With huge personal wealth, he could build a robust campaign operation across the country.
His advisers acknowledge that his late entry to the race could make competing in states like Iowa and New Hampshire, which have been blanketed by candidates for nearly a year, difficult. Instead, they previewed a strategy that would focus more heavily on the March 3 “Super Tuesday” contests.