Report: Former N.Y.C. mayor Michael Bloomberg says he's mulling run for president

By Doug G. Ware  |  Updated Feb. 8, 2016 at 7:47 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appears to be inching closer to a presidential run.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Bloomberg mentioned the possibility for the first time amid reports that he might seek a third-party bid.

Last month, The New York Times reported that Bloomberg had instructed advisers to chart a path to the White House as an independent. Speculation regarding a possible run has followed since.

A run could potentially cost Bloomberg $1 billion, sources say.

The former Republican and Democrat, who served as New York mayor between 2002 and 2013, was rumored to have explored presidential runs in 2008 and 2012, but ultimately did not join the race either time.

Bloomberg told the Financial Times that if he does run he would need to start putting his name on ballots in March. He also said he is keeping a close eye on what existing candidates and voters are doing.

Last week, Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said a Bloomberg run would be "unnecessary" since there are existing candidates in the race who largely represent his platform and ideology.

Further, polling data indicates a Bloomberg run would likely take votes away from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Bloomberg, an independent, is supposedly examining a run because he is unsatisfied with the possibilities of Sanders, Hillary Clinton, or Republican candidate Donald Trump being elected.

"I find the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters," he said, adding that the public deserves "a lot better."

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