(CNN) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote in a surprise endorsement Thursday he was voting for President Barack Obama in the upcoming presidential election, using Superstorm Sandy as a peg to highlight the president's stance on climate change.
Citing the storm, which left much of his city underwater and powerless, Bloomberg wrote in an op-ed on his website that "while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of [climate change], the risk that it might be – given this week's devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."
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Romney, Bloomberg wrote, is a "good and decent man" whose business experience would be a valuable asset in the White House, but his changes in positions have made the candidate a bad choice for president.
"In the past he has…taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts," Bloomberg, an independent who did not endorse a presidential candidate in 2008, wrote in his column.
"If the 1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney were running for president, I may well have voted for him because, like so many other independents, I have found the past four years to be, in a word, disappointing," the New York City mayor continued, pointing to what he regards as failures in Obama's jobs creation record and his approach to balancing the budget.
"Of course, neither candidate has specified what hard decisions he will make to get our economy back on track while also balancing the budget," Bloomberg concluded. "But in the end, what matters most isn't the shape of any particular proposal; it's the work that must be done to bring members of Congress together to achieve bipartisan solutions."
"If he listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours. And that's why I will be voting for him," Bloomberg wrote.
In a statement, the president wrote he was "honored" to have secured Bloomberg's endorsement, saying "I deeply respect him for his leadership in business, philanthropy and government, and appreciate the extraordinary job he's doing right now, leading New York City through these difficult days."
"While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time – that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children's future, and we owe it to them to do something about it," the president added.
In October, Bloomberg announced he was launching an "independent spending campaign" to moderate candidates in both parties during the final stretch of the election season.
The three-term mayor said he would spend eight figures on the campaign, billed as an effort to back candidates who "have shown a willingness to work in a bi-partisan fashion."
The expenditure represented Bloomberg's largest move yet to influence national races, and focused on candidates who want to crack down on illegal guns - an issue, like climate change, on which Bloomberg is highly vocal. Bloomberg has also made contributions to marriage equality referenda.
The mayor served his first two terms as a registered Republican, but ran for a third term as an independent.
CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.
Answers to your questions:
1) He was the first sitting president to come out in support of gay marriage (though I'll grant you it took him long enough to say so).
2) As far as spending and the deficit, are you not aware we just went through a global recession? I supposed you would prefer he did as the Europeans (raise taxes and cut spending)? Because if we did we'd be in as bad a shape as they are. The IMF said just last month that the austerity measure taken by EU member nations has actually hampered economic development. They are now proposing a program of tax hikes and deficit spending to get out of the hole they're in. Deficit spending? Who'd would have thought that would work? Who indeed.
3) The Army and Republicans (HR 2346, google it) stopped him. He signed an executive order, the Army fought the order and won in court. Then the Republicans passed an amendment (referenced above) to block funding for the transfer of prisoners from Gitmo.
Stop wasting time watching that crap that passes for news on Fox and put your brain to use.
Thank you Mayor Bloomberg. We don't need no flip flopping tax evading draft dodging dog in the White House.
Obama/Biden 2012 by a LANDSLIDE. Just wait till all the ethnic, racial and religious groups you right wingers disrespected, women, seniors, the middle class, the 47%ers and blue color workers cast their vote. It would be lights out for the draft dodging tax evader.
Because only Republicans are thin and follow a healthy diet.
Chris Christie say Hi.
Who really cares what Bloomberg thinks or endorses for President. Or any of the other talking Bobble Heads that make a living off the public via Hollywood or Government. They actually think people care about thier opinions. Bloomberg just wants more
Washington DC money to help cleanup the damage from the storm. Dont bit the hand that feeds you mentality.
Since Mittwitt can't be honest enough to show his tax returns and was caught lying in the 3rd debate the only choice is Obama. Even the Large Governor Christie Praised Obama! Mittens will soon be a forgotten Item Thank God!
Most things change. Why should climate be any different? Climate changes. Get use to it.
WOW once you disagree with the GOP views and ways they will trash you and reject you, even if you are right. I guess its ok to LIE and FLIP FLOP when you are a part of the GOP. If you care or speak the truth about the common people in your state or city the GOP will reject you. I always wonder what would make a person join a party like that. They are not about the people but the few.
The Tea Party and GOP claim to be concerned about our grandchildren's economic future while they have zero concern for the health of those grandchildren. They vilify environmentalists in favor of polluters at every opportunity, in an effort to pander for corporate gain. Sadly, they are too short-sighted to understand that a company can be profitable AND be good stewards of the earth. There is no leadership there.
At least he has a plan to fix our country before it becomes too late.
Tell me what Mitt's plan is because you seem to be the only person on the planet who knows it. Nothing on his website, nothing from his campaign speeches and nothing at the convention. If you have the inside information, please do feel free to share it.
Bloomberg, The Economist, and Colin Powell have endorsed Obama this week. Meatloaf and Lindsey Lohan have endorsed Romney.
Really Bloomberg. REALLY? You think Romeny flip flops.. Let's look at your record.
Democratic Party (until 2001)
Republican Party (2001–2007)
Oh I see you endorse anyone who can get you what you need. Ya know whats scary is how Dictators control their underlings during crisis. I am just saying.
Boy, a NYC mayor endorsing a liberal democrat – what a risk-taker!
brockdiego1: I love reading these comments. Liberals claim to be inclusive, but if you don't support their ideology, you're either racist, ignorant, or stupid. Sorry, but I'm none of those and I won't vote for Obama this year. Why? Because I do my homework, find out the FACTS and truth about everything and then make my decisions........... And yes, we were hit hard. But we will recover. Why? Hard work. Something liberals know nothing about anymore.
I love reading these comments too. It's especially enlightening to read the sanctimonious ones from Republicans that buy into the lies of their candidates. You are obviously one of those people buying into the Mitt Romney lie that Democrats are all poor, stupid, lazy and part of the 47% just living off the government teat who won't take responsibility for themselves.
It really was a stupid thing for Romney to say and equally stupid for his followers to keep repeating. If you insist on repeating a lie, don't shortchange yourself, as you actually do qualify for stupid.
Did you ignore the fact that even Mitt Romney had finally stated that he was "completely wrong" about the 47%?
If so, don't shortchange yourself, as you actually do qualify as ignorant.
Excellent choice. Rational and sensible government!
In Chicago if you did not kiss the Mayors butt or talk up yuur support for him you got nothing. Since the political sleeze from illinois is in the White House the result is the same as how things work in Chicago. Suck up or get cut off. This is a great example of why Obama needs to get boucned from the presidency. The Chicago way political sleeze in full force. The people affeced by it are kissing up and making nice to insure they get attention.
""In the past he has…taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts,"
Flip-flopper in a nutshell. Which Romney position are we to believe?
I love all of the idiots who think Bloomberg is a Republican endorsing Obama...
I don't need Bloomberg or anyone else to endorse a candidate – it's my vote and I can think for myself. Thanks for nothing ;-)
"In the past he has…taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts,"
Which Romney position are we to believe? It can't be all ... maybe none?
no surprise-michael wants all those billions that barack will be funneling to new york for "damages" after the hurricane, which will then be spread around to "friends" and contributors like candy at halloween. Nice!!!!
Good Common knowledge and appreciation for caring about all people . Thats what We need Governor .....Thank you for standing up
In Ohio, there are two major cities that are largely populated with voters living on governmental welfare. Why should those who give the least and take the most decide whether the U.S. continues on our current path to National Socialism or to change course back to Free Enterprise?