The Slatest

Bloomberg Reportedly Still Itching to Run for President Now That Warren Is Surging

Michael Bloomberg
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 12 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg is reportedly rethinking his decision to stay out of the 2020 presidential contest. The former mayor of New York City has told associates that former vice president Joe Biden’s seeming struggle to stay on top of the Democratic pack amid a surging Sen. Elizabeth Warren is making him seriously consider whether he should be warming up to join the race, according to CNBC. These associates say Bloomberg would join the Democratic contest only if Biden were to drop out in the early stages of the primaries. Bloomberg could then tap into his personal fortune, estimated at $51 billion, to bill himself as the moderate in the race.

“I think it’s something he wants. He has not been shy about that,” a Bloomberg ally told CNBC. “Nothing can happen unless Biden drops out, and that’s not happening anytime soon.” A “New York billionaire with ties to Bloomberg” also confirmed that whatever the former vice president decides to do will be key. “Bloomberg is in if Biden is out,” the executive said.

Bloomberg, who was a Republican and an independent during his three terms as mayor, had said in the past that he would run as a Democrat if he pursued a White House run. But in March he said he would not join the already crowded Democratic primary. Even then though he insisted it was important for Democrats to elect a moderate. “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,” Bloomberg wrote in an op-ed announcing his decision. “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.’”

This is not the first time there are reports that Bloomberg could change his mind about running. In April, Axios reported Bloomberg “might still run for president … if a centrist lane were to open up.” Bloomberg’s reported rethinking of his potential candidacy comes at a time when Warren is surging in the polls and Biden appears to be stalling. Case in point, a new Quinnipiac University poll released Monday reported Warren leads the Democratic pack nationally with 30 percent support, while Biden trailed with 27 percent. That difference is within the poll’s margin of error of 5.3 percentage points. But that poll is hardly an outlier. CBS News reported Sunday that Warren has a clear advantage in New Hampshire and is running even with Biden in Iowa. Biden continues to hold a huge lead though in South Carolina.