WASHINGTON — Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor and media mogul, said he will not run for president in 2020, and instead focus on the transition to clean energy and working on other efforts to defeat Donald Trump.
“I’ve come to realize that I’m less interested in talking than doing,” Bloomberg wrote in a column posted on Bloomberg.com. “And I have concluded that, for now, the best way for me to help our country is by rolling up my sleeves and continuing to get work done.”
Bloomberg, 77, had been considering getting into the race for the Democratic nomination this cycle, after weighing and ultimately deciding against independent bids in 2008 and 2016.
He is in sync with Democrats when it comes to the emphasis on issues like climate change and gun control, but he would have established himself as a moderate. Should he join the presidential race, former Vice President Joseph Biden likely will run as a moderate as well, but he also would come with higher name recognition and ties to party leaders in important early states.
“Many people have urged me to run,” Bloomberg wrote. “Some have told me that to win the Democratic nomination, I would need to change my views to match the polls. But I’ve been hearing that my whole political career.
“I’ve run for office three times and won each time, in no small part because I’ve never stuck my finger in the wind to decide what I should believe. It’s not who I am, nor do I think it’s what voters want in a leader. They want someone who levels with them, even when they disagree, and who is capable of offering practical, sensible and ambitious ideas — and of solving problems and delivering results.”
But he also warned the party not to move too far to the left, as President Trump already has been warning that Democrats want to impose socialism, and Republicans seize on policy proposals like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.
“It’s essential that we nominate a Democrat who will be in the strongest position to defeat Donald Trump and bring our country back together. We cannot allow the primary process to drag the party to an extreme that would diminish our chances in the general election and translate into ‘Four More Years.’”
He said that he will expand his support for a campaign called Beyond Coal, aimed at retiring every coal-fired power plant over the next 11 years, and moving the country to a clean energy economy.
He wrote that the Green New Deal — based on the premise that solving climate change requires a seismic shift in the economy — “stands no chance of passage in the Senate over the next two years. But Mother Nature does not wait on our political calendar, and neither can we.”
He also wrote that he will continue to work on other issues like gun violence, voting rights and education.
“I know there’s much more we can accomplish over the next two years, but only if we stay focused on the work and expand upon it,” he wrote. “And the fact is: A national presidential campaign would limit my ability to do that.”