WASHINGTON – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg backed President Barack Obama over Republican Mitt Romney on Thursday, saying the incumbent Democrat will bring critically needed leadership to fight climate change after the East Coast devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy.
The endorsement from the politically independent and nationally recognizable mayor was a major boost for Obama, who is spending the campaign’s final days trying to win over independent voters whose voices will be critical in determining the winner of Tuesday’s election.
Both candidates had eagerly sought the nod from Bloomberg, who didn’t endorse a presidential candidate in 2008 and has publicly grumbled about both Obama and Romney. But Bloomberg said the possibility that Sandy resulted from climate change had made the stakes of the election that much clearer.
“We need leadership from the White House, and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption,” Bloomberg wrote in an online opinion piece.
A full-throated stamp of approval this was not. Even as he pledged to cast his vote for Obama’s re-election, Bloomberg faulted the president for discounting centrists, trading in divisive, partisan attacks and failing to make progress on issues like gun control, immigration and the federal deficit.