Bloomberg stays neutral, but presidential preferences overheard

June 19, 2012

ByLeigh Ann Caldwell

(CBS News) New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has yet to offer a presidential endorsement and has been courted by both President Obama and Mitt Romney, was overheard offering his opinions of the presidential candidates.


The New York Times reported that two people overheard Bloomberg saying he believed Romney would probably be better at running the country than Mr. Obama.


However, the Times said the people within earshot of the mayor said he could not support Romney because he disagreed with him on so many social issues, including on abortion and guns. One guest added that Bloomberg then said he planned to remain neutral this year.


The mayor’s office declined to comment on the report.

The oft-outspoken mayor has publicly stayed mum on his preference this presidential election. But Bloomberg’s conversation was overhead while he was attending a recent charity event a nonprofit associated with the mayor called the Fund to Advance New York City.


In May, Romney met with Bloomberg, an independent who has toyed with a presidential run, butCBS News reported at the time that Romney said he did not ask for Bloomberg’s endorsement, instead they discussed the economy and several national issues.


Mr. Obama has been in touch with Bloomberg throughout his term, including at least one golf outing with the president in 2010. According to a New York magazine report, the Obama administration asked Bloomberg to run the World Bank, which Bloomberg declined. The two were also together during the president’s visit to the World Trade Center site last week.

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