Bloomberg will vote for Obama as America 'needs leadership' on climate change



In a surprise endorsement, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced in the wake of Hurricane Sandy that he will vote for President Barack Obama in next Tuesday's election because "we need leadership" from the White House on climate change.

Mr Bloomberg's city was swamped by a wall of water from the hurricane which killed 32 New Yorkers and caused an estimated $20 billion in damage on Monday night. In his endorsement yesterday, he said that climate change may have contributed to the megastorm, and praised Obama for taking "major steps" in his first term to reduce carbon consumption in America.

In an op-ed for Bloomberg News, which he founded, the mayor said he would spurn the Republican nominee Mitt Romney because of his policy flip flops on a range of issues, including climate change, immigration and abortion rights, guns and health care. He said that the issue of a woman's right to choose, at a time when the Republican party has renewed a push to return to the Supreme Court on abortion, "weighed heavily" in his choice.

The endorsement of Mr Bloomberg, a political independent in his third term as mayor, is a bitter blow for Mr Romney, whose party includes a majority of climate change deniers. Mr Bloomberg's op-ed, in which he described the former Massachusetts governor as "a good and decent man" who would bring "valuable experience to the Oval Office", contained a devastating critique of the former Massachusetts governor.

"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," he wrote.

Mr Bloomberg said that he would be thinking of his two daughters as he steps into the voting booth and that he picked Mr Obama because he shared his vision for America, and had a better chance of building the trust of moderates in order to end the gridlock in Congress and move the country forward.

He described the stark differences between the candidates in his op-ed. Mr Obama believed in protecting a woman's right to choose, while Mr Romney does not. Mr Obama advocated gay marriage, while Mr Romney does not. "I want our president to be on the right side of history" on that issue, he said. Mr Obama sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet, while Mr Romney does not. "I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics," Bloomberg wrote.

The mayor's endorsement, and Mr Obama's cooperation this week with Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, have provided a rare show of bipartisanship which American voters say they value and which has been in short supply for the past four years in Washington.

Although the announcement dominated news around the country last night, it is not expected to have a major influence on voters in the dozen swing states which will decide the election next week. However by identifying Mr Romney's policy flip flops as the main reason for rejecting his candidacy, Mr Bloomberg has put his finger on the same problem identified by former Secretary of State Colin Powell as his main reason for withholding support from Mr Romney, a fellow Republican.

And Mr Christie's fulsome praise of Mr Obama could be an indication that senior Republicans no longer believe Mr Romney can win next week. Mr Christie is a possible future Republican presidential contender.

Responding to Mr Bloomberg's decision, Mr Obama said that the two agreed that "whether we are Democrats, Republicans, or independents, there is only one way to solve these challenges and move forward as a nation - together."

Mr Obama, who said he was "honoured" to receive the endorsement, added: "while we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time." These were the need to invest in the skills and education of Americans to boost the economy, "that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children's future, and we owe it to them to do something about it."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home