Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the world's richest men, has formally launched a Democratic bid for president. Ending weeks of speculation, the 77-year-old former Republican announced his candidacy Sunday in a written statement posted on a campaign website describing himself as uniquely positioned to defeat President Trump. He will quickly follow with a massive advertising campaign blanketing airways in key primary states across the U.S.
"I'm running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America," Bloomberg wrote.
"We cannot afford four more years of President Trump's reckless and unethical actions," he continued. "He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage."
Bloomberg's entrance comes just 10 weeks before primary voting begins, an unorthodox move that reflects anxiety within the Democratic Party about the strength of its current candidates.
As a centrist with deep ties to Wall Street, Bloomberg is expected to struggle among the party's energized progressive base. He became a Democrat only last year. Yet his tremendous resources and moderate profile could be appealing in a primary contest that has become, above all, a quest to find the person best-positioned to deny Trump a second term next November.