After flirting with the prospect of a third-party bid, Michael Bloomberg will not run for president in 2016, he announced today.
The decision was announced in a Bloomberg Politics story, which claimed that Bloomberg said he won’t run as an independent this cycle but did not quote the former New York City mayor.
Bloomberg himself penned an op-ed that ran in Bloomberg View at 5 p.m., titled “The Risk I Will Not Take.”
In it, Bloomberg admitted that if he entered the race as a third-party candidate, he “could not win.”
Bloomberg did not mention former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. But the decision comes after Clinton put together a string of victories in early states and has started to rack up more and more delegates.
The former mayor also said he couldn’t jump in as a third-party candidate because it might mean that businessman Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz would win.
As the race stands now, with Republicans in charge of both Houses, there is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz. That is not a risk I can take in good conscience. I have known Mr. Trump casually for many years, and we have always been on friendly terms. I even agreed to appear on “The Apprentice” — twice. But he has run the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people’s prejudices and fears. Abraham Lincoln, the father of the Republican Party, appealed to our “better angels.” Trump appeals to our worst impulses. … Senator Cruz’s pandering on immigration may lack Trump’s rhetorical excess, but it is no less extreme. His refusal to oppose banning foreigners based on their religion may be less bombastic than Trump’s position, but it is no less divisive. We cannot “make America great again” by turning our backs on the values that made us the world’s greatest nation in the first place. I love our country too much to play a role in electing a candidate who would weaken our unity and darken our future — and so I will not enter the race for president of the United States.
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