(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.
Good to see someone calling Romney out on his endless flip flops.
Let THE madness begin ..THE RWNJ will NEVER GET OVER THIS.
Maybe smaller soft drinks would eliminate hurricanes ... right Bloomberg ???
A billionaire like Bloomberg endorsing Obama illustrates that he understands that just making a lot of money like Romney did dosen't necssarily mean that you know how to govern or creat jobs. All Romney did is make a lot of money. If making a lot of money is the criteris for being President then there are probably drug dealers who would qualify. Their way of making money is no more dubios than Romeny's way of making money.
Nanny Bloomburg likes Nanny Obama, shocking news, way to stay on top of these important issues.
CNN, if you wouldn't mind, maybe you could investigate the Libyan terrorist attack BEFORE the election. Maybe Americans would like to know what kind of commander-in-chief Barack Obama is. Geez.
I endorse the Mayor's endorsement of Mr. Obama. However, it is unfair to say he used divisiveness. The animosity of the Republicans against the President is clearly known. The party of NO has tried every crooked trick in their book to dishonor him. Adding to this complexity are the blue dog Democrats who are Republicans in disguise. These Dems are the enemies within, who vote for tax cuts, who vote for spending cuts, etc.. The Dems need to be united in their support of the President. He alone cannot get it all done.
Bloomberg you're a tool. If you think the handling of Sandy deserves the Presidency then you are an idiot. Too bad Sandy didn't take out your house instead of the Congressmen.
what happened Mr. Bloomberg? he didn't want to give you money without the endorsement? I thought you were busy taking care of the city not playing politics.
George Carlin said it best when he said that when the earth is tired of us, it will shake us off it's back just like when a dog shakes off it's fleas. Climate change...really...ask any climatologist, geomorphologist, glacialogist or archaeologist and they will tell you there are too many people living on the earth and that eveything that is happening is normal and has been happening ever since the very beginning. The evidence is everywhere that this happens all the time and we are just "in the way" of things...get used to this way of life as people come into contact more and more with disaster because we choose to live in the wrong places...we will hear about it more often. I thought Mayor Bloomburg was more intelligent than that, but evidently not.
We all need to thank James E. Hansen, PhD, perhaps the world's leading climate scientist, for doing everything he could since the 1980s to warn us. It is time now for a national carbon fee and dividend program. There is no time to lose.
Climate change??? I thought it was from all the added fluid in the NYC sewer system from those Big Gulps that Bloomberg banned? The problem should be solved.
Egads, NYC, what the heck are you doing electing a looney tune like Bloomberg?! Next thing you know he'll want to ban potato chips, or candy bars, or who knows what! The guy has lost it!
Please sit down be quiet or go away !
And please don't go blow something up because you didn't get your way.
It's a great thing for the Republican party , NewYork City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a realest and he could run in 2016 , and I might vote for him !
THANK YOU MAYOR BLOOMBERG , GOVERNOR CHRISTi !
And God bless you guys on the EAST Coast !
Team Common Sense, UNITE!
Thinking people appreciate President Obama. It is not a surprise that Mayor Blumberg one of a leading leader in business and social causes endorsing our president
..... and another Republican endorses Obama.
This is a win win for America...once a moderate republican finds out how far off field Romney really is, many more of them will follow..could this be game over for Romney Lies
lol and endorsement from the fool that banned large soft drinks .That says alot.
In the end, only racist will vote for Romney.
Thank you, Mayor Bloomberg. It is nice to see a politician who lives in the real world. Hurricane Sandy was, indeed, one of many wake-up calls to mankind that should be heeded. Hurricane Katrina and the 23 inch snow fall of Feb. 2011 in Chicago were other wake-up calls. I don't know how many more of these wake-up calls we can ignore before we can't fix the problem.
Yes, if we had only heeded the calls after the 1938 hurricane, and all the 1950's hurricanes, and the ones in 1810,, 1811, 1812, 1813,.....
It must have been all those sailboats distrubing the wind patterns and creating hurricanes! hahahahhaa... lefty loons and the lefty looney tune psuedo religion of "climate change". too funny.
Except for once (1996, Ross Perot) I have voted GOP for President as long as I have been able (1988 was my 1st). But I will be voting for President Obama this time. My reasons? I couldn't have put it better than Mayor Bloomberg did. Shifting positions, gravitation toward the extreme right/conservative stances on issues, and arguing against things he put into place that worked ("Romneycare") all speak of a man more concerned with getting elected than in being true to himself, and the nation. My opinion, yours may differ.
ct - In the end, only racist will vote for Romney.
In the end, only morons will vote for Obama.
I would be surprised if Bloomberg hadn't supported Obama.
Bloomberg is a Democrat in Republican's clothing.
This may actually HELP Romney.
Finally, someone in politics other than a democrat has identified Romney as a flip flopper and, as such, will not vote for him.
Thank GOD for Bloomberg. This guy will be playing a harp in heaven while The Donald is shoveling coal.