Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday he will not run for president in 2020, concluding he could better use his considerable resources on political activism than on a campaign in an ever-expanding Democratic field.
"I believe I would defeat Donald Trump in a general election. But I am clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field," Bloomberg wrote in an opinion piece posted to Bloomberg, the eponymous news site he founded.
Bloomberg said that despite calls for him to run, and despite his previous political success in winning New York City's mayoral race three times, he believes he can effect more change in the country by "doubling down on the work that I am already leading and funding" instead of "talking about my ideas and record, knowing that I might never win the Democratic nomination."
"I'm fortunate enough to be in a position to devote the resources needed to bring people together and make a big difference," wrote Bloomberg, a billionaire who has launched campaigns on issues including gun control and. Bloomberg also in the 2018 election cycle to support Democrats.
Bloomberg has been publicly disdainful of President Trump, beginning with his scathing speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in which he said that the "richest thing about [Mr. Trump] is his hypocrisy."
"I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one," Bloomberg said in his 2016 speech.
But instead of directly challenging Mr. Trump for the presidency, Bloomberg said in his opinion piece he would focus on a campaign called "Beyond Carbon," which aims to phase out use of coal by 2030, and create a "100 percent clean energy economy."
Bloomberg said he would also continue to focus his resources in combating gun violence, opioid addiction and high college tuition. He said he believed change was more likely to occur outside Washington than by the Capitol and the White House.
"I hope those who have urged me to run, and to stand up for the values and principles that they hold dear, will understand that my decision was guided by one question: How can I best serve the country?" Bloomberg wrote.