Former New York City mayor and 11th richest person in the U.S. Michael Bloomberg has confirmed to the Financial Times that he is considering an independent presidential run, following last month’s New York Times report indicating the same.

Bloomberg, 73, told FT that he is “looking at all the options” regarding an independent run for president, a run which the Times reported would be supported by nearly $1 billion from his own pocket. This is not the first time Bloomberg has contemplated a run, and an independent candidate has never won the presidency; however, in a deeply polarized election year, an independent candidate could do quite a bit of damage.

“I find the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters,” he told FT, adding that “I’m listening to what candidates are saying and what the primary voters appear to be doing.”

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Bloomberg, who has been both a Democrat and a Republican and became independent in 2007, told FT that his decision would be made by early March. Edward G. Rendell, a former DNC chairman close to both Bloomberg and Clinton, told the Times last month:

“Mike Bloomberg for president rests on the not-impossible but somewhat unlikely circumstance of either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz versus Bernie Sanders. If Hillary wins the nomination, Hillary is mainstream enough that Mike would have no chance, and Mike’s not going to go on a suicide mission.”

According to FT, experts believe that Bloomberg’s entry would likely help the Republican nominee, due to his staunchly liberal stances on issues like gun control and climate change.


Contact the author at ellie@jezebel.com.

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Image via AP.