Citing Climate Change, Bloomberg Backs Obama
In a surprise move just days after a large swath of his city was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg has penned an OpEd endorsing President Obama in next Tuesday’s election.
Both Obama and Romney have courted Bloomberg, and the mayor has alternately praised and criticized them both – particularly when it comes to the control of illegal guns, an issue on which he has spent heavily in hopes of overcoming the NRA’s clout in D.C.
In a piece published by (where else?) Bloomberg.com, the mayor cited the recent storm and the need to combat climate change as the driving force behind his decision to back Obama just days before voters head to the polls.
“We need leadership from the White House – and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks,” the mayor wrote.
“His administration also has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants (an effort I have supported through my philanthropy), which are estimated to kill 13,000 Americans a year.”
Bloomberg called Mitt Romney a “good and decent man” who “would bring valuable business experience to the Oval Office.”
But he also chastized the former Massachusetts governor for reversing course on a host of issues – immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care – backing away from his previously “sensible” positions in order to court the conservative base of the GOP (which, for the record, once counted the mayor himself as a member).
“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,” wrote Bloomberg, who switched his enrollment from the Democratic Party to the GOP before running for mayor in 2001 and then became an independent in 2007 in advance of a never-realized White House bid.
The mayor was not universal in his praise for Obama. He expressed disappointment that the president had run in 2008 (when Bloomberg neither ran himself nor backed either Obama or his GOP opponent, Sen. John McCain) as a “pragmatic problem-solver and consensus-builder” and then devoted little time to building and sustaining a centrist coalition once he got into office.
(Bloomberg has put his centrist money where his mouth is this election cycle, recently creating a Super PAC called Independence USA and pledging to spend $10 million to $15 million to help elect moderates on both sides of the aisle.
Bloomberg also reiterated his dismay that neither Obama nor Romney has offered much in the way of a specific plan to balance the budget and get the economy back on track.
The mayor also said he is more in line with Obama on a number of other key issues, including abortion rights and same-sex marriage, for which Obama only this year expressed his personal support.
Bloomberg said he hopes Obama can, if re-elected, figure out a way to work with a divided Congress, noting that both Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan managed to do so.
“(P)resident Obama can, too,” the mayor wrote. “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.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on November 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm, and is filed under Barack Obama, Michael Bloomberg, Mitt Romney, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|