by Steven Ertelt
June 20, 2007
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — Pro-abortion mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday switched his party affiliation from Republican to independent in a move many say is a stepping stone to an independent bid for the presidency. Should he decide to run, the mayor’s $5 billion fortune provides him with the cash necessary to make a huge dent on the 2008 race.
Bloomberg released a statement Tuesday in association with his party switch and it largely avoided any comments about his plans for 2008.
He said he filed papers “to change my status as a voter and register as unaffiliated with any political party.”
“Although my plans for the future haven’t changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our city,” Bloomberg said.
Later on Wednesday, he said he had no intention of running for president.
"My intention is to be mayor for the next 925 days and probably about 10 hours, whatever is left, 11 hours, and that is my intention," he said. "I’ve got the greatest job in the world and I’m going to keep doing it."
However, intentions can change — Bloomberg has been coy about any potential presidential bid and that he is term-limited may influence his decision.
"The idea that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will make an independent run at the presidency should be taken seriously," Republican analyst Bob Novak said in response.
"His decision yesterday to bolt the Republican Party is definitely significant, and given his lame duck status as a second-term mayor, it clearly has nothing to do with city politics," he added.
The big question political observers are asking is whether Bloomberg would draw more votes from the Republican or Democratic candidate for president.
The businessman was a lifelong Democrat before switching to the GOP to run for mayor in 2001 and while his financial views are more conservative and could draw Republicans, his social views are very liberal and could take away Democratic votes.
That he is pro-abortion and wants to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research is no secret.
In 2004, he was a leading figure in the largest pro-abortion fundraiser ever held at the GOP convention and, before that, he was responsible for pushing for mandatory abortion training for doctors in NYC medical programs.
"Reproductive choice is a fundamental human right, and we can never take it for granted," Bloomberg has said. "[O]n this issue, you’re either with us or against us."
The mayor has loaned five administration aides to assist pro-abortion Democrat Claire McCaskill last election as she took on pro-life Sen. Jim Talent, a Republican. The race helped give abortion advocates control of the Senate.
The New York Daily News interviewed a Bloomberg official who said the mayor got involved in the race because McCaskill backs embryonic stem cell research and a Missouri ballot measure that would promote human cloning.
He also donated $100 million to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University for embryonic stem cell research.