Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday he will not enter the 2016 presidential campaign as an independent, citing fear that his candidacy might help Republican candidates Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
The 73-year-old, who served as mayor of New York from 2002 to 2013, announced his decision in a statement titled “The Risk I will not Take” posted on his website, Xinhua news agency reported.
“I love our country too much to play a role in electing a candidate who would weaken our unity and darken our future — and so I will not enter the race for president of the US,” Bloomberg said.
The US billionaire predicted that in a three-way race, it’s unlikely any candidate would win a majority of electoral votes. Then the election would become a decision by the Republican-controlled Congress, he said.
“As the race stands now, with Republicans in charge of both Houses, there is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz,” he said. “That is not a risk I can take in good conscience.”
Bloomberg criticised real estate mogul Trump for running “the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign” and “preying on people’s prejudices and fears”.
“We cannot ‘make America great again’ by turning our backs on the values that made us the world’s greatest nation in the first place,” said Bloomberg, the founder and incumbent CEO of Bloomberg LP.