Nov. 24 (UPI) — Michael Bloomberg, a self-made billionaire and former New York City mayor for 12 years, officially became a candidate Sunday for U.S. president, a little more than two months before Democratic caucuses and primaries take place.
Bloomberg, 77, made the announcement on his campaign website, with a goal of removing Republican Donald Trump as president: “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.”
Bloomberg joins a crowded field for the Democratic nomination, which included 10 qualifying for last week’s debate in Atlanta. He won’t compete in the Iowa and Nevada caucuses as well as the New Hampshire South Carolina primaries in February.
On Nov. 8, he submitted the paperwork to be included on the Alabama Democratic primary ballot though he hadn’t officially announced his candidacy.
Alabama is among the states with primaries on March 3, also known as Super Tuesday.
Bloomberg plans to self-fund his candidacy, including placing at least $37 million worth of television advertising over the next two weeks in around 100 markets, according to data from Kantar Media/CMAG. The only other candidate with a significant ad buy is fellow billionaire Tom Steyer, who will have aired nearly $63 million of TV ads.
“I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government, and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead,” he said on his website
Bloomberg, who has a Master of Business from Harvard, is a philanthropist and owns Bloomberg News. He is currently worth $54.1 billion, according to Forbes.
He was elected mayor of New York City, first as a Republican in 2001 even though the nation’s largest city is heavily Democratic but became an independent during his second term. He registered as a Democrat in 2018.
Bloomberg spent more than $100 million to help the party take control of the House during the 2018 midterm elections.
In March, Bloomberg said he wasn’t running and instead wanted to focus his efforts to attack climate change and gun violence.
But now he doesn’t think any one of the candidates can beat Trump next November, several people close to the former mayor told CNN. Bloomberg is considered a moderate like former Vice President Joe Biden, who has led most nationwide and state polls, and Pete Buttigieg, who has climbed to first place in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The top liberals are Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Warren said Saturday night in Manchester, N.H: “This election should not be for sale.” She added she doesn’t think the race “is going to be about TV ads versus TV ads” but instead about “grassroots movements.”
Three other Senators also are running: Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
“I don’t think a person, just because they have billions of dollars, should sit back and say, ‘you know what, yeah, I think I’ll run for election right now and drop $100 million,” Booker told a crowd in Concord, N.H.
Klobuchar also campaigning in New Hampshire, New London, on Saturday, said she doesn’t “believe you get the best candidate when there’s such a bias in terms of money. I don’t believe that’s how this works.”