January 14th, 2008
05:37 PM ET
10 years ago

Bloomberg plays coy on presidential run

Bloomberg says he is not running for president, but advisers are exploring whether he can win.

Bloomberg says he is not running for president, but advisers are exploring whether he can win.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg would not rule out a presidential run in 2008 Monday, amid mounting reports that his aides have been gathering research on whether he can win.

Bloomberg tried to deflect the question Monday, pointing out that he was not currently an official presidential contender. "I've said this before. You would think that people would get tired of the answer. I'm not a candidate for President of the United States,” Bloomberg told reporters at an event at Harlem Renaissance High School.

But he would not say he was not planning a run.

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that Bloomberg is paying for heavy polling and voter analysis in every state.

A source close to Bloomberg told CNN last week that data assessing Bloomberg’s chances had been collected, but not yet analyzed, and that the mayor might make his decision on a presidential run by early March.

Asked Monday why he has been collecting data from national polls, he responded, "I didn't say I was collecting the polling research. You just said that."

When pressed on the question, Bloomberg grew agitated, though he did not deny the reports. "Miss, no matter how many times you ask the question, I'm not a candidate. That's the answer. I can't go into nitpicking. This is ridiculous."

Last week Gerald Rafshoon, a former media adviser to President Carter, and Doug Bailey, a former consultant to moderate Republicans, quit Unity08, a group dedicated to electing an independent presidential candidate.

The move came amid reports the two planned to announce the creation of a “Draft Bloomberg” committee sometime this week.

Next month, Bloomberg pollster and close adviser Doug Schoen will be publishing his new book, on how an independent candidate can win the presidency.

–CNN Radio Correspondent Steve Kastenbaum

Filed under: Michael Bloomberg
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Lev Klinemann, CA

    If he jumps into the race, the Republicans are done.
    They couldn't even steal the election.

    Hmmmm, maybe Hillary talked him into it, just kidding,

    Love you Hillary.

    January 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. Conan Campbell

    Bloom who? No one cares about this guy outside of the NE.

    January 14, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Matt

    To Lev Klinemann, CA- actually Bloomberg is not a Republican, he's a left-leaning Independent, so he would cost the Democrats the election.

    With the campaign message being cooperation and unity, an Independent wouldn't muster many votes, the Republicans and Democrats have stolen that third party niche.

    January 14, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Andy TN

    A do-nothing mayor wants to be a do-nothing president. Makes sense to me.

    January 14, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. sunnycat9

    Cut it out Bloomberg! Get over the ego trip. Haven't you had enough thrills in life. Don't be the election 2008 spoiler candidate. We just can't have another Republican in the White House

    January 14, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. Wayne, Greenville TX

    I'm still mad at him for destroying the greatest AM radio station ever – WNEW 1130 New York. He bought it and made it the flagship of Bloomberg Radio.

    January 14, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Golly gee Wow! His entrance into the race would mean one more candidate that no one cares about. He wouldn't last through a news cycle much less through an election. This "I don't want it but if you insist" approach is working so well for Fred Thomas, er Thompson, er Flintstone. What's his name again?

    January 14, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. Karen

    He has no platform. He's pro-war, open borders. He's relying on the 'can't stand any of the current candidates' vote. Dang.... based on that criteria, he gets my vote.

    January 14, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. john

    If he runs will the independents still want McCain? If I were a Republican
    voter I'd be wary of this happening down the road.

    January 14, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  10. Brian, St. Louis

    All due respect, Lev, but I disagree. If Bloomberg makes for a three-way general election in November, the Democrats cannot win. He'll grab a large enough share of the either independent vote to cut into Obama or he'll sway a good share of Democrats who cannot abide Hillary. Either way, no matter who the Democrats nominate, he'll be making the job of the Republican nominee that much easier.

    Just look at the effect Ralph Nader's candidacy had on the 2004 election.

    January 14, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. John Galt

    Bloomberg can afford to run for US president, but it would be a waste of cash because Americans are beginning to look at how distant candidates are from real citizens. When your worth hundreds of millions of dollars, you have nothing in common with me, I'm not welcome to drink out of Bloomberg's executive toilet. Your future concerns mean nothing to me, hell, I'm trailer trash, and Bloomberg wouldn't offer his trash for my consumption.
    My federal representatives have defined certain comments I've expressed as harshly cynical of today's politicians. I reply that you've earned it. DC is in a state of John Galt. (Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged").

    January 14, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  12. James D.

    If Hillary gets the Dem nomination...I would vote for Bloomberg.

    January 14, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  13. Joe

    I would vote for Bloomberg. This country needs a third party.

    January 14, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  14. Walt, TX

    Bloomberg should run for mayor of San Francisco. He'd fit right in.

    January 14, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  15. Lev Klinemann, CA


    both sides will lose votes, however, every poll shows that with Bloomberg in the mix, republicans lose 3 times as many votes as democrats do, specially from the moderate Republicans.
    This drops a little if John McCain is the Republican candidate, in that case, Republicans only lose about 1.5 as many votes as Democrats.

    Either way, although Bloomberg is not a "true" Republican (he used to be a democrat, now he's an independent), Republicans lose more votes (ala Ross Perot).

    January 14, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. Jack

    RUN please. If we have to have a NYC mayor for president, I'd much rather see Mayor Bloomberg. It would truly annoy both parties and would go a great distance in the formation of a third party. The Democrats and Republicans have been at this long enough; it is time for a national change. We have done it before. In case you haven't heard, the Whigs and the Federalists are not having primaries this year. It is time to make a real change in government. We have had enough talk this year about change.

    January 14, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. Connie, Tn.

    If Hillary gets the nomination, Bloomberg will run and will get Democrat , Republician
    and Independent votes so he will be elected.

    January 14, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. H. Truman

    Bloomberg Schoomberg! All ego and no traction. Poor guy – he has John Lindsay syndrome.

    January 14, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Save us, Bloomie, from the takes-a-village Democrats and the theocratic Repellicans. Outspend Mitt the Mormon and buy us relief from bush leaguers.

    January 14, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  20. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Bloomberg needs to enter the race now to give the public the opportunity to know what his political platform is while democrats and republicans are running helter skelter and slowing losing the interest of voters like myself.

    January 14, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  21. Jose Card - Independent

    This country needs a third party even if many said it's an impossible dream.
    This year is the first good chance for Independents.
    The biggest problem with Independents is lack of organization.

    Bloomberg cannot continue sitting on the sideline and said, "I might." once in a while.
    I won't vote for anybody that spends only his own money and buy the presidency.
    You must have a large base of support in order to unite the nation and lead.
    Without that, forget it. You are not leader 'of the people' no matter how much I like you.

    Lou Dobbs would have made a stronger Independent candidate in my opinion.

    January 14, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  22. Teacher

    Dont be fooled kids.This mans job is to sabatage someones chances.

    January 14, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  23. Jose Card - Independent

    john January 14, 2008 6:29 pm ET

    If he runs will the independents still want McCain? If I were a Republican
    voter I'd be wary of this happening down the road.
    Hi John,

    That would be the choice we Independents have to make.
    I will choose McCain over Bloomberg.
    Still, it's important for us to have the best nominee from each party.

    I would consider McCain, Ron Paul or Obama.
    It's an impossible dream for me to vote for Hillary no matter how much CNN bombarded me with her new and rerun postings.

    January 14, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  24. anon middle america

    Bloomberg hates Rudy with a passion and has no love loss for Hillary because he feels she didn't give him enough support – when he was running as a Democrat before he was a Republican but now he's an Independent – or maybe he was a Republican before he was a Democrat but now he's an Independent!!

    Anyway it would seem a bit odd that if he liked what Barack had to say when they had their little "secret meeting" that he would not have come out and declared his support for him then? Sooo who knows what that means – maybe he wasn't convinced or maybe they have different views or maybe he's waiting to see if Barack doesn't get the Dem. nod then Bloomberg will have him run with him on an Independent ticket. Which may make sense because is not Barack is the candidate who is running as the Uniter across both sides of the aisle? Maybe an Independent?

    The reasoning goes that if Bloomberg does decide to run for President that he will siphon off the Independent and the more moderate GOP votes which Barack would need to win whereas not the hard core party faithful Democrats (who aren't threatening to hold their breath until they turn purple and pass out because THEY know that the future of the US Supreme Court is on the line – so the rest can either become Pro-Lifers or Anti-GunControl supporters OR they can stay home and have a nice hot cup of tea and cookies and take an aspirin for their headache)!!

    What all the nasty little hillaryhaters fail to realize is that whatever the outcome Hillary WILL bounce. After living in a goldfish bowl for the last 15 -20 years and being battered, bruised, and bullied by the OTHER party and the likes of Gingrich (and Rove) guess what = She is STILL standing. And now who honestly believes that there could possibly be ANYMORE skeletons out there that haven't already been dug up?? And by now frankly who cares... big yawn.... I'm sure the supermarket tabloids are going to be pretty interesting as time passes though – as the GOP JAWS goes to work.... and that's not just whistling Dixie either. Take a gander at what they are doing in SC already = seems politics as usual and they call themselves the family values party (X rated?) drat I misplaced the link, anyway it wasn't what anyone would call good CLEAN politics!

    January 14, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  25. Doug, CA

    I'd vote for Bloomberg over Clinton any day.

    January 14, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
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