WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is endorsing President Barack Obama.
In an op-ed on Bloomberg.com, the mayor says he is supporting Obama’s re-election due to his stances on social issues like gay marriage and women’s rights, and particularly his position on climate change in the wake of the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy.
But Bloomberg calls the last four years “disappointing” and would have endorsed a previous “version” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“If the 1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney were running for president, I may well have voted for him because, like so many other independents, I have found the past four years to be, in a word, disappointing,” Bloomberg wrote.
Bloomberg went on to say that Obama hasn’t united the country because he was enabling partisan attacks.
“In 2008, Obama ran as a pragmatic problem-solver and consensus-builder. But as president, he devoted little time and effort to developing and sustaining a coalition of centrists, which doomed hope for any real progress on illegal guns, immigration, tax reform, job creation and deficit reduction. And rather than uniting the country around a message of shared sacrifice, he engaged in partisan attacks and has embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it.”
Despite the negative stance Bloomberg has shown on Obama, the New York mayor believes the president can right the ship.
“If he listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours. And that’s why I will be voting for him.”
This is a turn from 2008 when Bloomberg refused to endorse either Obama or Sen. John McCain.
Both Obama and Romney wooed the powerful mayor for his endorsement over the past several months, but Bloomberg refused to pick a side.
According to a New York Times article in June, Bloomberg reportedly said at a charity event that Romney would be better at running the country than Obama, but could not support the former Massachusetts governor because of their stances on important social issues.
Bloomberg has previously chided both candidates for not talking enough about tougher gun legislation while out on the campaign trail.