Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is running for president, Axios reports.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that he is expected to file to appear on the ballot in Alabama, which has the earliest filing deadline. The move comes even though Bloomberg, who has flirted with a presidential run for years, announced in March that he would not run.
Bloomberg’s advisers claimed to multiple media outlets that he is concerned that the current field of Democrats cannot beat Trump but he could. That’s a curious claim considering that a Fox News poll found last month that just 6% of Democrats would back his campaign while more than 30% said they would never vote for him. A CNN poll earlier this year similarly found that Bloomberg was one of the least popular Democrats considering a bid.
Axios reported that Bloomberg decided to jump in “because he believes that Joe Biden is fading.”
Dems slam Bloomberg’s foray into the race:
Both progressive and centrist candidates slammed Bloomberg’s run.
“The billionaire class is scared,” tweeted Bernie Sanders, “and they should be scared.”
Elizabeth Warren’s campaign sent a fundraising email calling his run “another example of the wealthy wanting our government and economy to only work for themselves.”
Even Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a centrist who has criticized Warren and Sanders, slammed Bloomberg’s decision.
“We don’t need another billionaire buying his way into this election,” he tweeted.
Bloomberg to self-fund “vanity run”:
Bloomberg vowed to spend his own money on his run, prompting analysts to question whether that money could be spent more wisely.
“The thing is Steyer & Bloomberg were both financing genuinely useful political activity that was making a real difference,” tweeted Vox’s Matthew Yglesias. “Sad to see that displaced by vanity runs.”
Guardian columnist Cas Mudde wrote that the only effect Bloomberg could have on the race is hurting other Democrats by pushing the dubious narrative that they can’t win (they currently lead Trump by double-digits.”
“For months now, the media have been reporting about alleged ‘anxiety’ about the party’s chances, the ‘uncertainty’ in the field, and the ‘weakness of the Democratic field’” even though there is “little actual evidence of frustration among the rank-and-file,” he wrote. “In short, Bloomberg’s entrance in the race is not evidence of grassroots dissatisfaction among the Democratic base. Rather, it is evidence of a centrist political establishment that worries that its days of influence and power are numbered.”