Mayor Bloomberg Is Just Not That Into Either of the Presidential Candidates

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Photo: Spencer Platt/2012 Getty Images

With the election only weeks away, Michael Bloomberg — who has been aggressively courted by both President Obama and Mitt Romney — has yet to publicly endorse a candidate. And, while recent remarks indicate that he is not undecided on who will receive his vote, Bloomberg seems to have remained fairly unenthusiastic about his choice, whoever it is. Having just announced the formation of his very own super-PAC, the mayor sat down for a straightforward chat with the New York Times about why he's just not that into this year's presidential contenders. 

Bloomberg — who, in case you haven't noticed, is a pretty big fan of the business community — said that he thought Romney's private sector experience "would be valuable." However, he added, "I don’t know that running Bain Capital gives you the experience to run the country." As for Obama's promise to raise taxes on the wealthy, Bloomberg (who has gone back and forth on the idea) was dismissive: "This business of 'Well, they can afford it; they should pay their fair share?' Who are you to say 'Somebody else’s fair share?''' When it comes to both men, he concluded, "Their economic plans are not real. I think that’s clear." 

Though he confirmed that he was more "in sync with President Obama’s views on social issues," Bloomberg expressed disappointment in Obama's handling of two of his pet causes: same sex marriage and gun control. Of the former, he said, "Let’s get serious here: it was Joe Biden that forced that issue." On the latter, he said he believed that the president, who "campaigned on introducing legislation to ban assault weapons, and then did absolutely nothing" had been "cowed" by the National Rifle Association. (Bloomberg said he believed the same was true of Romney, who signed an assault weapons ban as governor of Massachusetts but has said he would not do so as president.)

The mayor seemed considerably more excited about the politicians he'll back with the aforementioned super-PAC, Independence USA, to which he has already pledged $15 million in "spine" for those who show "leadership" and a willingness to "stand up to do things that aren’t going to be popular."