Michael Bloomberg

Photo by Emily Michot/Miami Herald/TNS

Bloomberg Decides Against 2020 Presidential Bid

March 05, 2019 - 4:09 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- After months of speculation, Michael Bloomberg has announced that he will not be running for president.

While the former New York City mayor believes he would defeat President Donald Trump in a general election, he said that he is "clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field." A dozen Democrats have so far entered the race for the White House, including Sens. Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The 77-year-old billionaire said he will instead "continue supporting candidates who can provide the leadership we need."

"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," Bloomberg wrote in an op-ed.

Bloomberg said his plans right now include "rolling up my sleeves and continuing to get work done."

"While there would be no higher honor than serving as president, my highest obligation as a citizen is to help the country the best way I can, right now," Bloomberg said, announcing a new campaign called Beyond Carbon, which he describes as "a grassroots effort to begin moving America as quickly as possible away from oil and gas and toward a 100 percent clean energy economy."

In an interview with WCBS 880’s Mack Rosenberg, political consultant Hank Sheinkopf noted that Bloomberg made a wise, but tough decision.

"He’s helped the Democrats take back the House of Representatives – his own money, his own staff, his own time. But, he made a tough decision. Why? It’s impossible, in many ways to get to through the gauntlet of the Democratic primary with more than twenty candidates," Sheinkopf explains.

As for what’s ahead for the Democrats in the 2020 Presidential Election, Sheinkopf says: "Anybody who comes out of these Democratic primaries as the ultimate winner is going to be highly wounded, and that's a bad way to begin the battle for the presidency."

The political consultant also notes that Bloomberg's exit could be a sign that former Vice President Joe Biden is getting ready to announce he's own bid. Bloomberg aides said the likelihood that Biden runs would play a factor in the billionaire’s decision to withdraw.

Bloomberg twice flirted with running for president as an independent candidate and started fueling speculation that he was considering a third bid when he registered as a Democrat back in October.