On Monday, after former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced over the weekend that he might be interested in launching an Independent candidacy for the presidency in 2020, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, a former Republican who supported Hillary Clinton’s candidacy in 2016, issued a statement that echoed the panic many Democrats expressed that a prospective Schultz run would jeopardize the Democrats’ chances of ousting President Trump in 2020.
The Daily Wire reports,
Bloomberg wrote, “In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the President. That’s a risk I refused to run in 2016 and we can’t afford to run it now.”
Bloomberg’s contempt for Trump runs deep. Speaking at the Democratic National Convention in support of Hillary Clinton, he snapped:
Most of us don’t pretend that we’re smart enough to make every big decision by ourselves. And most of us who have our names on the door know that we are only as good as our word, but not Donald Trump. Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.
I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! … Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy. He wants you to believe that we can solve our biggest problems by deporting Mexicans and shutting out Muslims. He wants you to believe that erecting trade barriers will bring back good jobs. He’s wrong on both counts …
I understand the appeal of a businessman president. But Trump’s business plan is a disaster in the making. He would make it harder for small businesses to compete, do great damage to our economy, threaten the retirement savings of millions of Americans, lead to greater debt and more unemployment, erode our influence in the world, and make our communities less safe. The bottom line is: Trump is a risky, reckless, and radical choice. And we can’t afford to make that choice!
Bloomberg is right in line with the Democratic Party on some issues, such as gun control, as evidenced by his co-founding of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which later merged with Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America to form Everytown for Gun Safety. That group collaborated with student groups in 2018 to organize the March For Our Lives. Bloomberg agrees with Democrats on abortion, having stated, “Reproductive choice is a fundamental human right and we can never take it for granted. On this issue, you’re either with us or against us.”
Ironically, Bloomberg, who is Jewish and a staunch supporter of Israel, would seemingly be on the same side of the aisle as President Trump and far from the Democrats, who now openly embrace open anti-Semites like Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. But apparently that issue doesn’t matter so much.
Text of Bloomberg’s statement from Monday below:
Last fall I spent over $100 million of my own money to elect Democrats to the House because I believed it was absolutely imperative to ensure a congressional counterweight to President Trump. Thankfully, we were successful. But that was just the first step — the next and most important step is to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.
Now I have never been a partisan guy — and it’s no secret that I looked at an independent bid in the past. In fact I faced exactly the same decision now facing others who are considering it. The data was very clear and very consistent. Given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral college system, there is no way an independent can win. That is truer today than ever before.
In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the President. That’s a risk I refused to run in 2016 and we can’t afford to run it now. We must remain united, and we must not allow any candidate to divide or fracture us. The stakes couldn’t be higher.