(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."
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.
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.
As an independent, I find Romney very wavering. I have asked many people what does Romney REALLY stand for? The problem is no one, including Republicans, knows what his policies, truthfully, are. I cannot in good conscience vote for a man who has no clearly defined principles.
Obama/Biden for me this election.
Obama admits GOV is to BIG says he's going to "cut the red tape" so the people in NY, NJ can get the help they need
In the same breath he says he want to create another Cabinet Position and layer of BIG GOV to help business because he has no clue what he's doing.
The man is a joke
Thank you Mayor Bloomberg! Your reasons for endorsing President Obama are very well stated.
It seems like Christie has given Obama the nod today too. Actions speak louder than words.
I can tell from the comments that republicans are getting desperate and nervous. Martin Angell – those three things are nothing compared to the total 180 Mittens has pulled several times in the past 4 years. Lance, I'm sure the marathon was planned months ago, it will bring business and money to the city. REALLY? Like your candidate, THIS is the best you can come up with? I say get comfortable because POTUS is not going anywhere and it will be a landslide next Tuesday. Mark my words.
Another wise and well-reasoned endorsement.I have never been a staunch environmentalist, but it's obvious that something is going on with the polar ice caps melting and these frequent and destructive storms.Only those who refuse to see this don't.Romney used to but now he is appeasing extremists and signed his life away to Grover Norquist and Tea Party types.He doesn't believe in or stand for anything.
He wants more $$$$. They will have to borrow it from China.
Wonder how much Obama promised Christi and Bloomberg for this endorsement , or are you liberals too blind to find this just a little odd right after a disaster like Sandy all of a sudden men who have critized Obama for 3 1/2 years all of a sudden in one day start endorsing him, I can hear it now..... BO " Now I could do alot more for NY and NJ if i just had an endorsemen"t!!!!!! .. just lost all respect for both men, and Christi just commited political suicide!!--unless he completly flops and becomes a Democrat!
Obama is running on his record, he has made mistakes but he steps up and takes responsibility. Romney is an empty suit- not fit for leadership and in the pocket of shysters like Adelson and the Koch Bros. We can't afford a Bush 3.0.
It's now catching up with the GOP. People are taking it serious when they hear and see the blatant lies and inaccuracies being poured out by Romney, Rove and his PACs. Those really concerned with the USA are taking it seriously and deciding that is not what they want running this country. Time for them to also call out those in Congress who've been playing games/politics at the expense of the rest of the country.
How come Bloomberg didn't feel this way when New Orleans was struck, flooded, almost destroyed again by HURRICANE Isaac just a few months ago??????? It didn't bother him then because it was not New York that was hit by a Hurricane????? How pathetic is he.
Obama will win this election. It is only obvious who the better candidate is. Those of us who have clearer vision can that.
As noted may times elsewhere, there is a LONG list of GOP heroes who would not fit the Republican party of today. Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, William Buckley to name a few. "Mitt Romney from 2003" is another example (I'm not sure what principles "Romney from 2012" actually supports.)
It's no wonder Mayor Bloomberg switched from the GOP to being an independent....the Tea Party and right-wing conservatives preach concepts that won't work if you actually have to run a city (or state, or nation...)
Bloomberg is the same fascist idiot on a power trip that thought it was his business to tell people what to drink and how much of it. He could be endorsing Mother Teresa and that would enough for me to hate her guts.
This was an exceptional helpful endorsement. Now that I know Napoleaon Bloomberg wants Obama to win, this independent will cast his vote for Mr. Romney. Bloomberg has not listened to a single NYer about what we need done. It is his opinion or nothing. He has raised my property taxes 82% since being in office, I cannot afford for President Obama to do the same. This independent is now decided. Thank you for helping me decide.
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbuck's just endorsed OBAMA
Thank you Mayor! Finally, a powerful politician and influential person who has the decency to get us talking about CLIMATE CHANGE!!! And, a billionaire Independent (who was Republican most of his life) endorsement of President Obama SPEAKS VOLUMES!! OBAMA 2012 - THE ONLY SANE CHOICE!
See, if you flip flop too many times, it comes back to bite you.
Obama will win this election. It is only obvious who the better candidate is. Those of us who have clearer vision can see that.
Anyone with half a brain and listens to everything the candidates say would vote for Obama. What do you expect somene to do with a shi+load of problems from day one. Each day we get a little better. The GOP has gotten too extreme for the moderates in this country. Romney is not very credible due to his "lying". There is a difference is trying to do something you said you would do and boldface lies. It is time to wake up, go to the polls and vote for Obama/Biden. Maybe GOP will get wake up call and do better next time. Should have learned with Palin. Obviously Romney did not get this way overnight. Just go back and watch and GOP primaries. They all hated him and called him a liar then. I listen to all his speeches and he is just so out of touch with most of America. Also, he never should his taxes. DON'T TRUST HIM.
it's the work that must be done to bring members of Congress together to achieve bipartisan solutions." <~~ He must have forgotten Obama did have a democratic congress. I think Bloomberg drinks too many large sodas.
Interesting. Very very interesting to see more and more moderate repubs crossing over. the former gov of Florida, Charie Christ spoke at the democratic convention, remember? Oh ,yes I totally applaud Gov. of NJ for stepping out of the repub box when the potus reached out to him. Now, people need to vote.
Trying again to Thank Mayor Bloomberg. Too bad some on this blog put their "big drinks" ahead of anything else.
We need to do something and this could be a great beginning. I will take the word of scientists, and all
organizations trying to save the "Good Earth" over any idiot posting here. The name calling is just stupidity.
Wow- Any surprise Bloomer gives his endorsement now to maximize Obama's favor in releasing FEMA funds and action for NY storm victims?
He is simply following Gov. Christie's well intentioned pandering- kissing the federal ring in hopes of receiving blessings from the savior of the down-trodden, Obama.