On the heels of the worst storm in the city’s history, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his endorsement of Barack Obama for president citing his leadership in climate change and potential to bridge both parties.
Bloomberg said Hurricane Sandy “brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief,” in an op-ed for Bloomberg View and re-published on his website.
“Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be – given this week’s devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action,” he wrote.
“One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.”
Bloomberg cited New York’s PlaNYC, which has cut the city’s carbon footprint by 16 percent in the last five years, and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group as examples of local governments making progress where the federal government has not.
The mayor said that as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney had “a history of tackling climate change,” but has since reversed course.
“I believe Mitt Romney is a good and decent man, and he would bring valuable business experience to the Oval Office. He understands that America was built on the promise of equal opportunity, not equal results. In the past he has also taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts,” said Bloomberg, a Democrat turned Republican turned Independent.
He said he has found the past four years disappointing and that if the 1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney ran, he would have received his vote.
Despite his disappointment, Bloomberg said Obama achieved several victories including, Race to the Top, his health care law and women’s rights.
“When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America,” Bloomberg said.
The mayor said that the Obama that ran in 2008 as a “pragmatic problem-solver and consensus-builder” devoted little time to developing and sustaining a coalition of centrists as president.
“Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan both found success while their parties were out of power in Congress — and President Obama can, too,” said Bloomberg. “If he listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours.”