Would Mike’s Run Have Given the WH to Trump?
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg left many people disappointed when he announced on Monday that he would not launch a presidential bid in 2016.
“When I look at the data, it’s clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win,” Bloomberg said in a statement published on Bloomberg View. “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. That is not a risk I can take in good conscience,” he wrote.
The rumors that Bloomberg was considering running and making history in winning the presidency as a third-party candidate began as polls indicated Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders could win their respective parties nomination. Moderate Republicans, independents and power brokers saw in Bloomberg, an exceptional candidate who would serve as an alternative to those fearing the prospects of a Trump or a Sanders presidency.
“I’m quite disappointed that Mayor Bloomberg has decided not to run,” Steven Schoenfeld, founder of BlueStar Global Investors LLC, told Jewish Insider on Monday. “His proven entrepreneurial, business and government executive skills and strong philanthropic record is exactly what we need in a president. While he’s likely correct that he faced long odds to win the White House, his candidacy could have created a legacy of a durable, moderate third party which so many Americans yearn for.”
Michael Granoff, an advocate for energy security policy and a former supporter of Jeb Bush’s campaign for president, found Bloomberg’s decision not to run “devastating.”
Speaking to Jewish Insider, Granoff said Bloomberg’s conclusion that he would not be able to win as a third-party candidate was faulty logic. “While he is correct that he would win enough electoral votes to throw it to the House — why would he think House Republicans would feel beholden to the Republican nominee if it is Trump (or even Cruz),” he explained. “This would be especially true if Bloomberg captured a plurality of popular votes – which I believe was entirely plausible.”
“America is not only the poorer for his decision – its very essence may be at risk as a result,” Granoff added.
Responding to Granoff’s note, a Bloomberg aide dispelled the notion that “House Republicans in most states would be willing to end their own careers to select an extremely pro-choice President, who is also a global leader combatting climate change into office.”
Granoff insisted that there would be enough House Republicans to support Bloomberg over Trump if no one got to 270 electoral votes. “Do the math. There are 72 GOP districts that Obama won – or came within 4 points of winning — and they are widely distributed enough to tip the balance, assuming, as I do, a popular vote plurality for Bloomberg,” he stated. “The risk to their careers would have been to vote for the guy who used to be (and for sure still is) in his own words “very, very pro-choice” [Trump].”
Jill Smith, a good friend of the former New York City Mayor, backed up Bloomberg’s decision as realistic. “Bloomberg would likely have drawn from voters more inclined to vote for the Democratic candidate than the Republican nominee,” she asserted in an email to Jewish Insider. “Bloomberg does not want to risk being the culprit who handed America a right wing ideologue as President. He is, mainly, a smart, compassionate pragmatist. Not an ideologue. He does not want America to suffer a Trump or Cruz Presidency.”
For Avi Schick, a prominent New York attorney, Bloomberg’s explanation for not getting into the race is exactly the reason he and many others hoped he would run. “Mike Bloomberg would have brought sanity and pragmatism to a Presidential race that currently has neither,” Schick told Jewish Insider. “As Mayor, Bloomberg demonstrated that an ideology of excellence can succeed in politics, and that the center can be a potent political force.”
“While he will not be President, people will continue to view Mike Bloomberg as their most trusted arbiter of politicians and policies,” he added.