(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.
From the man who claimed term limits were critical, then forced through legislation to overturn term limits so he could serve again in NYC. His endorsement is perfect. He's an Obama clone through and through.
Oh yeah, and this endorsement is no surprise. At all. Way to make a natural disaster into a political power play, by the way.
Climate change is "junk science" according to the vast majority of the GOP. That was a lot of junk science running down the streets of NY City and throughout the state of New Jersey. The GOP may not be that concerned about those "blue" states........but the fact is that there are a number of "red" states that border a large body of water as well, and they will all get their turn to deal with this "junk science" in the coming years.
Hopefully Sandy will convince people (mostly republicans) that climate change is a problem. Hooray for Bloomberg! He knows what is right for this country and he is one of the superrich too. Thank you Mayor for endorsing the only viable candidate in this race. Oh if you want to know what Romney thinks...wait a minute nobody not even himself knows what he thinks!!!
Surpirsing but appreciated I'm sure.
Thank goodness. After a year in which half the country has been burned to a crisp with droughts and wildfires, and the other half has drowned, someone finally has the guts to say "climate change".
Romeny does not understand the words CLIMATE CHANGE – but when he goes to the Cayman Islands to hide his profits he notices that the tempature gets warmer
I don know but I am not sure I would rely on a guy who wears certain kind of underwear to protect himself i.e Mormon underwear – if he becomes president you will all be issued Mormon underwear to protect you from climate change disaster
The USA seems to be the target of climate change –
I would go with green energy vs Mormon underwear
just a suggestion!
And this is news? Of course he was going to endorse a Democrat. He'll want the party support if he decides to run for the office
I believe there are aspects of Mitt Romney’s involvement with the Mormon church, viewed from the context of the church’s past and present teachings and policies on race, that should be considered. They are discussed in an article appearing in the online magazine “Rule of Thumb” at the following link: http://sarafoss.com/post/mitt-romney-mormonism-and-race.
Big money donations have been flowing heavily in favor of Obama since Romney/Ryan attacked GM and Chrysler last week.
Business leaders are fleeing Romney and Ryan as fast as they can.
No one wants to be anywhere near Romney and Ryan for their recent assault on American businesses.
Romney had terrible advisors. A more moderate Republican from the beginning would have a better chance.
But unlikely get the Republican nomination. People need to change the Republican party and make it more moderate.
Romney last minute appeal shows you that people want something in the middle and not far right..tea party...craziness...
Not to be outdone, Romney recently picked up endorsements from Snivley Whiplash, Skelator, Megatron and Mojo Jojo. Lex Luther is still undecided.
I don't agree with Bloomberg on everything, but he's refreshingly not partisan and polarizing. He criticized both Romney and Obama even while endorsing Obama. I hope he makes a run for the Presidency in 2016 and I don't care what party.
Romney better start asking question about the Medicare Fraud indictment created by the company while he was CEO of Bain which they owned and he won't deny. The final hour is on you now Mr. Romney to respond and there's only 6 more days left before Obama's campaign starts running those ads as a "November suprise".
Things are not looking good for Romney. Governor Christie said Obama is 'outstanding' now Bloomberg endorsed him. Romney is taking the killing blows for a total K.O. Obama 2012!
Thats my President and thats my Mayor and I voted for both of them!
WOW really I thought this would never happen NOT
CNN find some news we don't know
I am once again proud to be a new yorker. Excellent choice Mr. Bloomberg. It is astounding how some folks continue to support Mitt Romney. Not because I am a Democrat but I can not get over how the man tells so many lies and acts as if we are all fools. I certainly hope the majority of Americans realize what a good decent honest man President Obama is. Obama/Biden2012
What's the matter, Truth Hurts? Truth hurt?
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. Bloomberg professed to support term limits when he took office for the first time, then forced through legislation to overturn that law in NY so he could run for a third term. Hypocrite? You bet.
Now he's touting the quick and easy claim that climate change is responsible for Sandy. I believe in climate change and I believe we are responsible for it. And yes, I can believe that Sandy is an example of what's to come. BUT, the 'Perfect Storm' of 1991 was over 20 years ago and more powerful than Sandy. It's just that Sandy made landfall and that one didn't. I love how all of you hypocrites were all over this story, holding your breath, waiting for Romney to make ONE slip about this storm and trying to make it political, but cheer when your own party does it over and over and over. And yes, I live in CT. By the shore. And yes, we were hit hard. But we will recover. Why? Hard work. Something liberals know nothing about anymore.
Why do people say things like "And this is a surprise?" Bloomberg endorsed Dubya in 2004 and did not endorse anyone in 2008. Bloomberg was no lock for either of them and its known they were both working to get the nod.
While I think endorsements from celebrities are worthless, endorsements from respected independents do carry some weight. Especially when that endorsement is from the guy who runs the most important city in the world.
Bloomberg News Corporation outsources its call center oversees!! I hope if Obama is re-elected.......he slams this corporation with heavy, heavy taxes!!!!! BRING JOBS BACK TO AMERICA!!!!
Way to go New York. Lets hope it is not to late!
Is this the first morman to come out and support Obama?
You can disagree with his soft drink initiative but you can't disagree it got people TALKING...the first step in anychange process.