Bloomberg nixes 2016 run because it might boost Trump

KONFRONTASI - Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he will not launch a run for president as he had been considering, because of fears that a third-party campaign would result in a Republican victory.

In a column at Bloomberg News titled The Risk I Will Not Take, Bloomberg said he suspects he could win some states but not enough to grab “the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the presidency.”

He argued that an independent run might further divide voters and lead to congressional Republicans uniting behind front-runner Donald Trump, also a billionaire from New York.

“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 United States,” he wrote.

With no candidate winning an electoral majority, Bloomberg said, the presidency would be decided by Congress, with the House of Representatives picking the president and the Senate the vice president.

Bloomberg had previously said that he was “looking at all the options” for the 2016 race. Rumors about a possible run intensified after Trump surged past other GOP contenders.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes his way to an exit at a campaign rally March 7, 2016 in Concord, North Carolina. (AFP photo)

“I have known Mr. Trump casually for many years, and we have always been on friendly terms. I even agreed to appear on ‘The Apprentice’ -- twice. But he has run the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people’s prejudices and fears,” he wrote in the op-ed.

Trump’s presidential campaign has been defined by controversy from the beginning, with inflammatory remarks directed against immigrants, Muslims and women.[ptv]