New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, citing climate change, endorsed President Barack Obama on Thursday.
The mayor endorsed the president in an op-ed published online Thursday — saying his decision to endorse was prompted by the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. It brought the stakes of the election into "sharp relief," he wrote.
"This issue is too important," he wrote. "We need determined leadership at the national level to move the nation and the world forward."
Bloomberg said he "may have voted" for GOP challenger Mitt Romney if the "1994 or 2003 version" were running but says the former Massachusetts governor has "reversed course" on at least one major climate change initiative.
Of the two candidates, Bloomberg writes that, "One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics."
Bloomberg had said he would not endorse a candidate. Stu Loeser, Bloomberg’s former, long-time press secretary says he was surprised that the mayor changed his mind.
But he noted, the mayor’s endorsement was “not a straight up the board endorse.”
“In this case, the mayor has real misgivings about some of the ways that the president has responded to parts of the business community in New York for instance,” Loeser said, “but based on preponderance of the issues, he's going to vote for Obama and he thinks others should, too."