New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election, saying the president has gained “some important victories on issues that will help define our future,” including climate change, health care, education and gay rights.
In an opinion piece written by the mayor and published on Bloomberg View, he said devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy brought the stakes of the Nov. 6 election “into sharp relief.”
Bloomberg, a political independent who is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, contrasted Obama’s support for abortion rights and same-sex marriage with Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s opposition. Bloomberg also said Romney isn’t sufficiently concerned about climate change.
“I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics,” Bloomberg wrote.
He described Romney as “a good and decent man” who would bring “valuable business experience” to the White House. He said Romney has taken “sensible positions” in the past on issues such as immigration, illegal guns and abortion rights and has “reversed course on all of them” in his presidential campaign.
“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.
Romney lost a 1994 Senate bid in Massachusetts, then won the state’s governorship in 2002, taking office in 2003.
In a statement, Obama said he was “honored” to have the mayor’s backing.
“I deeply respect him for his leadership in business, philanthropy and government, and appreciate the extraordinary job he’s doing right now, leading New York City through these difficult days,” Obama said in the statement.
Bloomberg’s super-political action committee, Independence USA PAC, won’t be advertising on behalf of the president, Howard Wolfson, a spokesman for the mayor, said.
Bloomberg didn’t endorse either Obama or Republican candidate John McCain in the 2008 election. He backed President George W. Bush, a Republican, for re-election in 2004.