That Time Bloomberg Said He Would Only Run for President of His Block Association

“I’m 75 years old. It’d be an age issue.”

Mike Bloomberg on 60 Minutes in 2017.

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In 2017, Mike Bloomberg thought he was too old to run for president of anything more than his block association.

In an interview with 60 Minutes, Bloomberg was asked whether he would consider running for president, after contemplating a run as an independent in 2016. “Well, I’m 75 years old,” he responded. “It’d be an age issue, I suppose. I’ve got plenty of things to do. And maybe I’ll run for president of my block association, but not much more than that.”

He also conceded that he felt like a run was a long shot. “I was mayor for a long time,” he said. “People know where I stand. I couldn’t pretend to be something I’m not. For the Republicans, I’m pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-immigration. That’s a good start there. You’ll never get their nomination. On the Democratic side, I believe in teacher evaluation. The big banks, we need to help them rather than just keep trying to tear them down. Those are not particularly things that will help you get the nomination.”

Bloomberg was also asked about a speech he gave at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where he said of Republican nominee Donald Trump, “I’m a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one.” But that didn’t make things too awkward between the two New York billionaires: Bloomberg called Trump and congratulated him after he won the 2016 election. “We joked about my speech in Philadelphia,” Bloomberg said on 60 Minutes. “And before he finished the conversation, he gave me his personal phone number, his cell phone. I haven’t called him, so I don’t know if—whether he’d answer it now. But he’s—I hope he does a good job.” 

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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