Bloomberg quits GOP; Threatens to join bloated field of anti-gun prez candidates
By Chad D. Baus
As if there aren't enough anti-gun candidates sparring in one of the earliest presidential campaign seasons ever, it looks like there is about to be one more.
Joining the list of pro-gun control candidates like Hillary Rodham Clinton (D), Barack Hussein Obama (D), Rudy Giuliani (R) and John McCain (R), will likely soon be anti-gun billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I).
That's right - (I), as in Independent. Democrat-turned-Republican-In-Name-Only Bloomberg has announced his withdrawal from the GOP, despite having told a group of Manhattan Republicans just last year "I couldn't be prouder to run on the Republican ticket and be a Republican."
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From the Associated Press:
- After some six years as a Republican, the 65-year-old former CEO announced Tuesday that he has left the Republican Party and become unaffiliated in what many believe could be a step toward entering the 2008 race for president.
Bloomberg has fueled those notions with increasing out-of-state travel, greater focus on national issues and repeated criticism of partisan politics, all the while vowing to leave public office at the end of his term in 2009.
"Although my plans for the future haven't changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our city," Bloomberg said in the statement he issued Tuesday.
Notwithstanding Bloomberg's coyness, the mayor's announcement only increases speculation he will pursue the White House, challenging the Democratic and Republican nominees with a well-financed third-party bid.
Bloomberg, who founded the Bloomberg LP financial news service, has an estimated worth of more than $5 billion and easily could underwrite a White House run, much like Texas businessman Ross Perot did in 1992. Bloomberg spent more than $155 million for his two mayoral campaigns, including $85 million when he won his second term in 2005.
Media pundits have already begun debating as to how a Bloomberg entry into the presidential contest would affect the current crop of candidates, most of whom are nearly indistiguishable on the social issues that seem to turn elections, no matter what party they belong to.
Some operatives believe Bloomberg's liberal positions on abortion, embryonic stem cell research, tax hikes, gay marriage and gun control would draw votes from the Democratic nominee. Others theorize he could gain votes from so-called "moderate" Republicans.
Like Democrat presidential front-runners Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama, and Republican contenders Rudy Giuliani, John McCain & Mitt Romney, Bloomberg has a history of support for gun control.
In the past year, as he sought to gain increased prominence in anticipation of a potential Presidential bid, the billionaire began a bogus and illegal sting operation against gun retailers in Ohio and elsewhere. He is now hard at work fighting against law enforcement officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) and Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) in an effort to gain access to confidential law enforcement data on firearm traces - records that the BATFE compiles when it traces firearms in response to requests from law enforcement agencies.
The extremist gun control agenda coming out of New York City was alive and well under Rudy Giuliani, but did not die there. It is up to gun owners everywhere to make sure it does not end up in the White House in 2008.
Might there be a pro-gun GOP Presidential contender after all?