A new effort is being launched to urge Bloomberg to jump into the presidential race. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Michael Bloomberg has repeatedly said he is not a candidate for president, but two political operatives are hoping a 50-state petition drive will change that.
Gerald Rafshoon, a former spokesperson for Jimmy Carter, and Doug Bailey, a veteran GOP consultant, announced Tuesday they are launching a nationwide petition in hopes of convincing the New York City mayor to enter the race. The two said they have filed papers with the Federal Elections Commission and the IRS to form an official committee.
In announcing the effort, Bailey said the times call for a figure like Bloomberg.
"At a time when the economy is in great peril and facing a recession, Mike Bloomberg represents an unique answer to his experience and his understanding and his success in the financial markets," he said. "At a time when the Washington political system is broken, wouldn't it be refreshing to have a president elected who owes nothing to the lobbyist, nothing to the special interest, and nothing to the extreme elements of either the political parties."
Rafshoon noted the onetime Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent is a multi-billionaire who can finance his own presidential bid, and won't be beholden to special interest groups or a party platform.
"This is not somebody who has a crazy vision of the country and how he would like to spend his money," he said. "But he will not be taking money from lobbyists. He will not be taking money from New York bankers or any of the people you said that have met to discuss a Bloomberg candidacy."
Bloomberg continues to deny plans of a run, but news surfaced last week he has launched a research effort to measure how much support exists for an Independent presidential bid. A source close to the mayor told CNN he will make his final decision about a presidential run in March - conceivably after both party's nominees are determined.
Asked about the new effort, Bloomberg said he is "flattered," but added, "I am not candidate for president of the United States. I've got a job which I think is a phenomenal job."
Related video: CNN's Carol Costello reports on the Bloomberg push
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney