A new CNN report on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's quiet "research effort" to assess a possible presidential bid as an independent, is cleverly written to imply that Bloomberg is a dissatisfied Republican.
Bloomberg, a lifelong member of the Democratic Party, decided to run for mayor as a member of the Republican Party ticket.
Bloomberg, a former Democrat who was elected to the mayor's office as a Republican, joined a panel of moderate current and former lawmakers earlier this week at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. The group, made up of both Democrats and Republicans, called for a return to bipartisanship in government.
"What has changed is that people have stopped working together," Bloomberg said at the Monday gathering. "Government is dysfunctional. There is no collaboration and congeniality. There is no working together and 'Let's do what's right for the country.' There is no accountability today ... no willingness to focus on big ideas."
Bloomberg may have been elected on the Republican ticket in 2001, but he isn't a Republican. He's a lifelong liberal Democrat who only temporarily called himself a Republican in running for mayor of New York.
His 2006 mayoral re-election bid was endorsed by many prominent New York Democrats, including former Democratic Mayor Ed Koch, former Democratic governor Hugh Carey, former Democratic City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, his son, Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr., former Democratic Congressman Floyd Flake (who had previously endorsed Bloomberg in 2001), and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
On June 19, 2007, Bloomberg announced his decision to leave the Republican Party and be declared an independent. Policywise, he is much closer to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party than to the any part of the Republican Party. He's pro-abortion, avidly pro-gun control, anti-death penalty and publicly opposed the confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Wikipedia summarizes his political positions thusly:
Bloomberg holds political positions which are generally centrist, drawing from both Democratic Party and Republican Party positions. He is socially liberal, supporting abortion rights, gay marriage, and normalization of the status of illegal immigrants, for example. Economically, he is moderate, supporting government involvement in issues such as public welfare and climate change, while being strongly in favor of free trade, pro-business, and describing himself as a fiscal conservative because he balanced the city's budget. Conservative groups have criticized this characterization because Bloomberg raised both taxes and spending significantly as mayor. On foreign policy and domestic security issues, he tends to be conservative, supporting the USA PATRIOT Act and opposing a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq.
Bloomberg is not a dissatisfied Republican thinking of an independent bid for the White House. He's a dissatisfied Democrat thinking of an independent bid for the White House. CNN got it wrong.