(UPI) — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has switched over to the Democratic Party — a move that could ultimately set up a presidential run to oppose Donald Trump in two years.
Bloomberg, New York City’s mayor from 2002 to 2013, announced on Instagram Wednesday he’s re-registered as a Democrat — accompanied with a photograph of him signing official forms.
A billionaire businessman, Bloomberg has switched political affiliations before. He switched to the Republican Party for his mayoral run in 2001 and changed again in 2007 by registering as an independent. He campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and gave a speech supporting her nomination at the Democratic National Convention.
“At key points in U.S. history, one of the two parties has served as a bulwark against those who threaten our constitution,” Bloomberg wrote on Instagram. “Today, I have re-registered as a Democrat — I had been a member for most of my life — because we need Democrats to provide the checks and balances our nation so badly needs.”
Bloomberg has teased many times that he could run for president. The New York Times reported last month Bloomberg is actively considering a 2020 presidential run as a Democrat — a notion that might explain his move Wednesday. Bloomberg has said he doesn’t believe an independent candidate can win the White House.
“It’s impossible to conceive that I could run as a Republican — things like choice, so many of the issues, I’m just way away from where the Republican Party is today,” Bloomberg said last month. “That’s not to say I’m with the Democratic Party on everything but I don’t see how you could possibly run as a Republican.
“So if you ran — yeah, you’d have to run as a Democrat.”
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