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. Mike

    Don't waste your vote for the Dem or Gop candidate...you will only sabatage the Independent party. Vote for real change...vote for the new main stream party.

    January 14, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  2. Andy, New York, New York

    I'm black, Republican and new Yorker!

    Bloomberg is a self-made billionaire who once was a Democrat, but switched to the Republican Party so he can run for Mayor of New York. After he won the mayor's race, he's now an Independent.

    Check his checkered moves and see if this is somebody you can put trust in to stand by his convictions!

    Apart from the media, which probably is already quietly digging up dirt on him in case he anounces his candidacy, I wish to make it clear:


    He also wrote a book that is not on the shelves today, in which he shockingly states how he BROKE THE LAWS to achieve his goals.

    Bloomberg is so full of himself, he makes Hillary look like a lesser devil! But still a devil!

    January 14, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  3. Mary, Michigan

    It shows a real lack of character that he's waiting to see who the nominees are before getting in the race.

    If you want to run for president do it because you think you can do some good for your country.

    January 14, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  4. Stephen,Wilmington,NC

    Bloomberg most likely needs to run just so he will have a tax wite-off because I surely don't think he would win.

    January 14, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  5. william walsh columbus ohio

    save your money! you dont have a snowballs chance,america speaks,

    January 14, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. Jack K.

    Such courage.

    I guess he wants to see what competition remains after February–to decide if he's got the courage to run.

    Personally, I hope he decides to stay out. My guess is he'll try to be Obama's VP if he gets the nod from the DEM party.

    I hope America can tolerate his ego.,

    January 14, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  7. Jeff

    What's with these potential candidates all playing coy ? Whenever they're asked if they're gonna run, they all do the same thing, they smile, and shake their head acting like "Oh I don't know" when all the time they've all but signed their name.

    Guiliani did it, Thompson did it, Hillary did it, Obama did it, McCain did it., Huckabee did it. WHAT's the POINT?

    They know they're gonna run, we ALL know they're gonna run, why not just up and say I'm running for President of the United States, and stop wasting time "blushing" when someone asks you??


    January 14, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  8. Roger

    If it ends up being a race between Hillary Clinton, and any Republican candidate who's last name isn't McCain, then I'll vote for Bloomberg out of spite.

    January 14, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  9. David S, Brooklyn, NY

    I think the polls have it wrong.

    Bloomberg will be most popular in areas that traditionally vote Democrat: the coasts and urban areas. He hasn't a chance in the South. He spoils in favor of the Republicans.

    But Bloomberg does not want to be a spoiler–otherwise, he'd be in this thing already.

    I think it's clear he's waiting for Super Tuesday to see how united the parties are. If there's a Democratic split–or near split–between Obama and Hillary, it would encourage him to run; I think the only thing on the Republican side that would stop him from running would be were Rudy to emerge as the clear nominee. He and Rudy, though substantially different, have similar "near-jerk" appeal: tough, competent.

    I'd honestly like to see him run very much. I'd probably, as an independent myself, vote for him: he's been a terrific mayor. But I am skeptical whether even a billion dollars could establish the organization and outreach needed to capture the White House.

    January 14, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  10. Jen, New York, NY

    Clinton, Bloomberg, McCain –> I'd vote for Bloomberg
    Obama, Bloomberg, McCain –> I'd vote for Obama with Bloomberg as the VP

    January 14, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  11. william walsh columbus ohio

    yeh thats what we would excpect doug, lol, california, what a waste of land

    January 14, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  12. S, Orlando, FL

    What? NYC wasn't big enough to fill his ego? Stay in New York, Bloomberg, for the love of God.

    January 14, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  13. jacque bauer

    We've got enough comic relief already without this egotistical Bozo getting in here who thinks he can win the presidency without paying any dues and doing any hard work.

    Go back to the Hamptons, Mr. Bozo.

    January 15, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  14. Bam Bam Vs Hillarious

    Romney Economy said JOBS JOBS and I loved it.

    McCain is a Rambo I need a job not a war.

    Bam Bam Vs Hillarious could be beat by an independent, but I think America is warming up to Romney.

    January 15, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  15. Roland

    An Obama/Bloomberg ticket would do well.

    But dunno if it's likely...

    January 15, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  16. paul, nyc ny

    I am from NYC. I enjoy having Mr Bloomberg as mayor. He is doing a great job. But I am just tired of the "is he or isn't he" and the playing with words to avoid answering whether he is considering a run for president. The idea is great if he will, I will not vote for him, but just say you will or will NOT run. Answer the question "I plan to run but have not decided when to announce" or I WILL NOT EVER run for president of the United States for the 2008 election". Its a simple answer.

    GIVE IT.

    January 15, 2008 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  17. NYC Wonderboy

    Andy TN January 14, 2008 6:11 pm ET

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

    Andy, obviously, you have no clue what Bloomberg's 2 administrations have been like in NYC. He completely streamlined government here and made it accountable. He got rid of a lot of bureaucratic gunk and made it possible for different agencies to actually talk to each other and work productively together on the problems facing our city. Unlike previous mayors, he actually appointed the most qualified candidates to the position of Commissioner in all city departments rather than appoint under-qualified people because of political favors he owed. He's overseen a tremendous amount of economic growth in NYC and put in place sound policies that fostered growth. At the same time, he created new and innovative programs that helped the poor and uneducated. For example, his program aimed at ending homelessness by looking at the root causes for becoming homeless has been applauded across the country. He's revamped the school system and made it accountable for failures. And unlike the other NYC mayor running for president, he doesn't feel like he needs to take credit for every success story that happens in the city. He's more than happy to give the credit to those who are actually responsible for the successes.

    Bloomberg is dead on right about the political gridlock in DC. It's time to end partisan politicals once and for all. Political parties are dinosaurs and they no longer accomplish what they originally set out to do. Democrats, Republicans, whatever... they're doing more harm than good to our society.

    January 15, 2008 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  18. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    He can play as coy as he wants, nobody outside of New York City is seriously interested in anything this man has to say.

    He is an aged multi-billionaire with more money than time or common sense. But this is still America, and it wouldn't matter if he had 20 billion instead of the 11 he is reported to have; Americans do the voting, and his billions cannot buy this election.

    He has considerably less stature than Ross Perot did when he ran. His advisors need to tell him "it's a fairy tale", you are "living in a dream", just retire to the Bahamas.

    If he tries to act as spoiler for Senator Obama or Senator Clinton he will be infamous and hated for all time.

    Stay in New York, and leave the rest of us alone.

    January 15, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  19. TrueThis

    I hope he runs........I can't stand the dirty politics the Clintons are playing. They are trying to divide and conquer.

    January 15, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  20. Karl, Charleston, SC

    Bloomie doesn't want S.C. guns in NYC,
    S.C. doesn't want Bloomie's campain.

    Draft Bloomie? Sure,send him to Iraq!

    January 15, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  21. Chris, Jacksonville

    Yes many, many many people all throughout this country are interested in his potential candidacy.

    People are fed up with both parties....and rightly so.

    I would certainly consider voting for Bloomberg if he were to run.

    I switched to Independent 14 years ago out of disgust with the parties.

    A viable 3rd candidate would be a very welcome situation for scores of millions of voters all throughout this country.

    January 15, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  22. MIKE, NC

    Bloomterd is a Liberal and I hope he get's in, the big lib will steal more votes from the Democrats

    January 15, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  23. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    With all this speculation over repeated statements that Bloomberg isn't running, why are we still doing it? If Bloomberg is going to support actual candidate, let it be someone other than himself. I think that if he were to run, what would he be running as? What about what he said about staying until the end of his term as mayor of New York City? Some lessons learned in NYC can't translate to being in the White House.

    January 15, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. Jason, NYC

    play coy all you want mr. mayor but this country has no need of you.

    January 15, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. John G, New York, NY

    As a New Yorker, I really like Bloomberg. He's smart, experienced, builds strong consensus, and effectively moves that consensus to action. He is not like either of his predecessors in the NYC mayors office who, in the case of Dinkins and Koch, simply pandered to political interests or, in the case of Giuliani, created ego-driven division in the city and who proved true the old axiom that "you can have amazingly efficient government – only at the expense of civil liberties."

    However, he needs to stop playing "footsie" and declare himself a candidate for one party or the other. The last thing we need is another four years of hostile, paralized, divided government. Whether the Republicans or the Democrats win Congress, he wouldn't have allies anywhere.

    January 15, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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