(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.
*In all of the debates so far, Obama hasn’t planned to mention climate change once.
*Obama has not mentioned the crisis in the last two State of the Unions addresses.
*Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded carbon trading stock markets run by corporations.
*Julian Assange is of course a climate change denier.
*Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).
Romney thanks us for fear mongering votes his way.
Good news for REAL planet lovers; climate change was real all right but really not a crisis leaving climate change a LEGAL exaggeration. The rest of you just wanted this misery to be real and at least Bush didn’t condemn our kids to the greenhouse gas ovens with childish glee.
“We could be at the point of no return.” Yes “could” be. Help, my house could be on fire maybe? How history will laugh!
Not one single IPCC warning says it will happen, only might happen and could happen and may happen and will likely happen. Exaggeration isn’t a crime and don’t forget it was science that gave us the pesticides that made stewardship necessary in the first place.
Let me show you my shocked face.
Couldn't agree more, Mayor Bloomberg. I hope other independents see your logic and vote for President Obama.
Bloomburg also thinks banning 32 oz sodas fixes obesity. What a M0R0N.
Anyone who thinks this election is about rich/poor is obviously not paying attention to the news, specially to the Benghazi news. We are being thrown to the Muslim wolves and will be destroyed by the U.N. Go ahead and vote for Obama, but when this country falls apart and you are under Sharia law within the next year, don't go regretting your choice. You had your chance.
I strongly agree with the Mayor, Romney flip flopping is a turn off too many voters on both sides. We don't know where he really stand and we can't afford to let him take our country down the road with him being uncertain. I rather have someone with a plan or idea that can lead. Obama is the choice for America at this time and we just can't afford to risk our future with Romney. I do wish Romney well to where ever his future takes him. I guess October surprise was Sandy.
If you guys turn your back on this great President do you think you can send him Canada's way?! I'd take a person like Obama who actually gives a damn about his people over what we have up here.
big suprise about bloomberg, afterall, he is a communist just like obozo's inner circle, who are working to destroy america and her consitution.
bloomy should have got his buddy chris christie to lay off the 64 oz sodas and overly abundant fatty foods. i nevre saw christie before. what a fatso he is.
it looks like they photo-shopped it out, but i bet bloombergs right hand was in the air, giving his aryan salute. sig heil, bloomy.
This coming from the enemy of the Big Gulp and donuts??? Another regulator trying to control the lives of the citizens of NYC, and giving his endorsement to the biggest socialist regulator of them all... Obama. The president can have him.
No way! Bloomberg, a liberal politician in a liberal state is backing Obana? Never saw that coming ;)
The Economist also just indorsed Obama!
Forward for America!
maybe romney not releasing his tax returns is still dogging him? whats he got to hide? whats so bad in there? nope. dont trust romney.
I thought it was called global warming.
Will Chris Christie become an independent too? I think highly possible. Rush Lame Boar already called him "fat fool", other extremists called him "traitor". At this rate, it is not if, but when IMO.
The Republican extremists are driving people with good conscience out of their own party at super-sonic speed.
Just reading through these comments makes it pointedly clear. If you are a Republican, you must toe 100% of the party line 100% of the time, or else they cut you off. You can't think for yourself as a Republican. They hate when you do that.
Stupid is as Stupid does.
Good for you Mayor Bloomberg. I am sure he will be branded a heretic by the GOP.
Citing climate change. So a hurricane has never hit the area so he implies. Who is going to pay for this climate change stuff? Off to buy a "Big Gulp".
Bloomberg is in fact a far left wing radical collectivist statist. Even more so than President Barry Soetoro. Its no surprise to see that he is in full support with the multi trillion dollar "man made" global warming industry.
Mayor Bloomberg does not need ONE single thing from President Obama. Furthermore, there are enough millionaires and billionaires(Bloomberg being one of them)who could build NYC back in 6 months. Face the facts, Romney has no CORE. He has not met one single issue he has not been on 4 sides of. He is a joke. He may be a business man, but he is not Presidential material.
Obama is counting on his Hoax and Change slogan. "In troubled times, the fearful and naive are always drawn to charismatic radicals."
Remember Hitler (National Socialism), Karl Marx (Marxist Socialism) and Barry Obama (Progressive Socialism).
drboaz wrote "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."
Sad that you make it sounds as if it's a bad thing to be the savior of the down-trodden. One would think that would be a good thing.
For those that say that Bloomberg and Christie are pandering - you are an example of why there's so much contention in the Country. To put aside political rederick and work across party lines to address the catastrophy is a sign of strength. Perhaps they are getting the support and leadership they need during this - and see that the President is competent and reliable. Maybe you need to try and identify the root of your distaste rather than insulting men for being true leaders...