(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.
How many times do we have to read about the jumbo sized sodas at a time when there is so much destruction and loss of life? The Mayor as well as Governor of NJ are faced with a crisis no one could have imagined. They are taking this and their right to choose very seriously and we have to read someone make a joke about jumbo sodas. Go ahead a vote for Mitt. You deserve him as much as he deserves you.
Well no kidding. He has a totalitarian approach to government also.
And why is this news as if it's any surprise. Bloomberg is evil too, which is why he's a Democrat.
I'm sure the President would send this endorsement back, if he could......
::And,l I really believe the President is genuine in what he says, shows true empathy, and can be trusted. I don't get that sense from Romney. He likely is a decent person but, to not show your tax returns is very telling - and if he's hiding that info., clearly there's a good reason. Why would anyone want to entrust the highest amount of responsibility to him when he can't be upfront? He lacks in being genuine - and honest with too much desire for power...
Romney doesn't need to talk about America becoming like Europe. He needs to warn us about America becoming like California!
SWEET! This is almost as good as when Hugo Chavez endorsed this sorry excuse for a president!
Five Days Later Sandy has become Obama's Katrina and Not Romney's. Climate change has Nothing to do with Sandy.
By the true definition I have always leaned towards a moderate replublican's philosophy but now that they have been hijacked by the evangelicals, the creationism folk, the lack of willingness to accept science, the 'Your doing a good job Brownie..', the 'I want to mingle church and state', the lack of concern for folks in need, the 'I know what's best for the human body', etc......
You have to hand it to Limbaugh, Hannity and the like for brainwashing all those folks making less the $250k in believing that the republicans actuallly care about them... it is amazing to me that all these people have fallen for this con... Don't you remember the people in New Orleans dying while Bush and his cronies were patting each other on the backs for a job well done....
The repbulicans acuse Obama of being a socialist when in reality if they had there way we would have no separation of church and state.... that is exactly what Iran and other middle east countries have now!!!! Why do you think that most colleges and universities are liberal?? Because they are educated, believe in science and understand that church has no place in politics or government.
Man, some wacky threads here. Bob Hopes Ghost, your sociopathic drumming thinks we are going to have sharia law in a year or two because the President is s Muslim. What planet are you living on? You've got to be kidding. And drboaz, I'm sure the only reason Mayor Bloomberg backed Obama is because he'll get more money from Obama. Yea, as though the biggest city in the world has to beg for money to fix the disaster. Stick your head in the sand...you'll make more sense then. Geesh!
Bloomberg and General Powell's endorsement shows that the President is the leader the nation needs.
It's very revealing reading these comments that overall the consumers of CNN news are as liberal as the hosts of the programs.
Lots of unfriendly quips regarding Bloomberg’s decision to reduce the size of sodas.
I would think that Romney supporters would approve of that. Consider that smaller sodas could mean less obese children resulting in less obese adults; meaning less (only) Democrats who like to drink soda on OBAMACARE!
Because only Republicans are thin and follow a healthy diet. Granted, except for Meatloaf.
To my fellow Democrats, do you really trust a party that tries to scare the voters with the boogeyman of electing a Republican to the Presidency and Senate?
For all those that "honestly believe" that Mr Romney is someone who flip flops. At least he has a plan to fix our country before it becomes too late. Increasing spending, raising taxes, supporting countries who really hate us. turning your back on our allies. Increasing our national debt, cutting , miliyary spending and having an open door policy on immigrations is not what i call a plan.Can you say that obama has a REAL plan. If its popular in the news or polls that appears to be obamas plan.
Another reason not to vote for Nobama
After reading some of the GOP comments here regarding New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Former Secretary of State Colin Powell . It made a few of my on the fence Romney supporting friends. Say they will now vote for Obama.
Keep it up truthhurts and all the rest of you down in the Karl Rove Bunker !
You make the country look like a Banana Republic , without Bananas !
ROMNEY / RYAN / ROVE / REDD = GW BUST !
Makes sense to me. We can vote for Obama and get slow change forward or we can for for Romney and go BACKWARD!
With millions of New Yorkers without power, food or water, I'm so glad Mayor Bloomberg found the time to stake out a partisian position of blaming the storm on climate change, even when experts–including those that support climate change–have a hard time attributing it as the cause of this storm.
Two more perfect idiots belong together. Guess you don't have a problem with filthy rich liberals who tell you what to eat and how much coke you can consume. NYC... you are a joke.
@Justin How many Fake oil war soldiers funerals were you at with the last administrations great Draft dodging leaders you had? (Cough cough Cheney cough Cough) i was at 3 so... I would rather have someone who wasn't worried about their corporate profit friends over the regular people.
A politician endorses Obama in a state where Obama is leading by 29%. Not too shocking. Next story.
Doesn't surprise me. Bloomberg is a Nanny State politician who thinks the government knows what's best for everybody.
Bravo Bloomberg, once again, from this New Yorker.
My primary agreement with Bloomberg is that Romney has changed his position on almost every issue.
I have no idea which of Romney's mouths I should believe.