Billionaire Michael Bloomberg seems to be inching ever closer to an independent 2016 Presidential run:
Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, has told his aides to draw up plans for an independent campaign for the U.S. presidency, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Bloomberg has advised friends and associates that he would be willing to spend at least $1 billion of his own money on a campaign for the November 2016 election, according to the source, who spoke on condition on anonymity to discuss the former mayor’s thinking.
News of Bloomberg mulling a presidential run was first reported Saturday by the New York Times.
Bloomberg, 73, has given himself an early March deadline for entering the race, the source said, after commissioning a poll in December to see how he would fare against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Republican and Democratic frontrunners.
Part of Bloomberg’s motivation to enter the race stems from a frustration with Clinton’s campaign, the source said. Clinton has been dogged by questions about her honesty amid an ongoing investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of state.
Sanders, Clinton’s chief rival, has recently surged in polling in key early voting states Iowa and New Hampshire. That development has made Bloomberg increasingly worried about a general election between Sanders, a self-described socialist, and Trump or Cruz, both of whom have staked out far-right positions on issues like immigration.
At the New Hampshire Republican Party “First in the Nation Presidential Town Hall” in Nashua, Senator Rand Paul, who is lagging badly in opinion polls, seemed unfazed by the possibility of a Bloomberg third-party run. He even saw a bright side for his party.
“If he splits the Democrat vote – those for gun control – that might be good for Republicans,” Paul told reporters.
In my opinion, it’s the height of megalomania for Bloomberg to consider a third-party run, unless his explicit goal is to run in such a way as to split the vote to favor either the Republican or Democrat contender of his choice.
As the founder/owner/bank account behind Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Everytown For Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, and The Trace (a sort of Think Progress/Media Matters for America propaganda outlet for anti-gun “news”), Bloomberg is by far the biggest player in the American gun control movement, and is therefore more likely to draw support from anti-gun moderates that typically lean towards Democrats than he is moderate Republicans.
I think Senator Rand Paul is right; if he runs an independent it will split the left-leaning voters, and solidify support for the pro-Second Amendment candidate.
You want to run, Mikey?
Just Bring It.