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NYC Mayor Bloomberg says not to run for president
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16:13, February 28, 2008

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City said Thursday he will not run for president but could support a candidate who takes a "non-partisan approach."

"I listened carefully to those who encouraged me to run, but I am not -- and will not be -- a candidate for president," Bloomberg said in an article on the op-ed page of the New York Times.

Bloomberg, whose second term as New York mayor will end in less than two years, expressed disappointment with the 2008 presidential campaign, saying the candidates "seem afraid to level with" the Americans about the problems the country faces and the ways to address them.

He reiterated his call for an independent and non-partisan approach.

"Over the past year, I have been working to raise issues that are important to New Yorkers and all Americans -- and to speak plainly about common sense solutions. Some of these solutions have traditionally been seen as Republican, while others have been seen as Democratic," Bloomberg said.

"As a businessman, I never believed that either party had all the answers and, as mayor, I have seen just how true that is."

While citing progress in New York's handling of such issues as the economy, education, the environment, energy, infrastructure and crime, Bloomberg urged "innovative ideas, bold action and courageous leadership."

"That's not just empty rhetoric, and the idea that we have the ability to solve our toughest problems isn't some pie-in-the-sky dream," he said.

Bloomberg said he will "continue to work to steer the national conversation away from partisanship and toward unity; away from ideology and toward common sense; away from sound bites and toward substance."

"The race is too important to sit on the sidelines, and so I have changed my mind in one area," he said. "If a candidate takes an independent, nonpartisan approach -- and embraces practical solutions that challenge party orthodoxy -- I will join others in helping that candidate win the White House."

Although Bloomberg has repeatedly denied any interest in a presidential bid, speculation has persisted about a possible run.

He underwent "extensive preparation for a presidential bid," the AP reported. "The work included mass polling and nationwide data collection to determine his viability as a candidate, as well as detailed study and preparation for a state-by-state ballot access drive."

The 66-year-old billionaire founded Bloomberg L.P., a financial news service, in 1981. He first took office as mayor of New York on Jan. 1, 2002, and was re-elected in 2005.

Source: Xinhua

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