2020 White House candidate Michael Bloomberg said in March that he wouldn’t run for president because of his old age and the fact that he would have to renounce his previous policy positions — and his identity as a white male — to accommodate the Democratic Party’s leftward lurch.
“To start a four-year job, or maybe an eight-year job, at age 79 may not be the smartest thing to do. But if I think if I thought I could win, I would have,” the 77-year-old billionaire and former New York City mayor explained at the Bermuda Executive Forum in New York City.
“I just couldn’t see a path to where I could get the nomination,” he added. “It’s just not going to happen on a national level for somebody like me starting where I am unless I was willing to change all my views and go on what CNN called ‘an apology tour.’”
Bloomberg then cited Biden as an example of a candidate who was forced to apologize for his past positions, saying with a pang of sarcasm: “[He] went out and apologized for being male, over 50, white.”
“He apologized for the one piece of legislation which is actually a pretty good anti-crime bill, which, if the liberals ever read it, most of the things they like would be in that bill. They should have loved that. But they didn’t even bother to read it. You’re anti-crime, you must be anti-populist,” he added.
Ahead of formally launching his White House bid, Bloomberg apologized for his support of “stop-and-frisk,” stating he was “sorry” that the police strategy frequently led to detention of blacks and Latinos. “I can’t change history,” he told a black church in Brooklyn. “However, today, I want you to know that I realize back then I was wrong.”
On Sunday, Bloomberg officially became a candidate for president, just two months before the Democrats’ first primary and caucus contests will take place.
“I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions,” he said in his announcement.
Bloomberg’s entry into the crowded Democrat field comes as voters are concerned about whether former Vice President Joe Biden has what it takes to get through the primary and beat President Trump in the general election. His entry was also prompted by anxiety about whether Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) could defeat the incumbent president amid strong economic growth.