Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is testing the waters for a presidential run in 2020 as a Democrat.
Sources close to the billionaire told CBS News that Bloomberg is miffed that he didn’t stick it out in 2016 because he believes he would’ve beaten Trump outright.
Instead, as we all know, Bloomberg backed off and endorsed the Hillary machine for POTUS. Since then the 76-year-old businessman has been dumping mucho dinero into the coffers of Democratic candidates around the country. With respect to the 2018 midterms, the anti-gunner is ponying up $80 million.
In a statement last week, Bloomberg who has traditionally positioned himself as an Independent explained why he is committing so much capital to the Dems.
“Republicans, who control both houses of Congress, have done little to reach across the aisle to craft bipartisan solutions – not only on guns and climate change, but also on jobs, immigration, health care, and infrastructure,” said Bloomberg. “As a result, Congress has accomplished very little.”
“And so this fall, I’m going to support Democrats in their efforts to win control of the House,” he added.
As Baruch College Professor Doug Muzzio noted though, this is more than just a move to change the political makeup of Congress. It’s also a way to curry favor with the DNC.
“That’s a political chits,” he said. “That’s a lot of winners or loyal losers so one can look at it cynically and say he’s building a political organization, a political base.”
This will be the fourth time (2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020) that Bloomberg mulled running for president. So maybe this is just the same old song and dance.
Then again, there is something that feels different about this time around. For starters, the Dems have no shoo-in for the nomination. It’s more wide open than it’s been in decades. Cory Booker, Kristen Gillibrand, Joe Biden, Bill de Blasio — it’s anyone’s guess who will take the cake.
Beyond that, with $51 billion Bloomberg certainly has the money to make it happen. He doesn’t have to fundraise or kiss the ring of any other billionaire to put together a competitive campaign.
Finally, Bloomberg fundamentally thinks that he’s better than Trump. A better New Yorker, a better politician, a better businessman — remember he called Trump a “con”— and seeing the “Don” in office must really chap his behind.
On the gun rights side of things, a Bloomberg candidacy would definitely improve voter turnout, as Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation noted in an email to GunsAmerica.
“Mr. Bloomberg our gun rights are not for sale and neither is the White House,” said Gottlieb. “Gun owners voted against anti-gun rights Hillary Clinton in record numbers and if Bloomberg runs gun owners will shatter that record in the first hour the polls are open.”
Meanwhile, it appears the National Rifle Association is gearing up for a potential showdown. In a post on Twitter this week, the gun lobby called Bloomberg the “Disarmer-In-Chief,” adding “watch your guns — he is coming for them.”
— NRA (@NRA) June 27, 2018