Washington: Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City Mayor known for his climate change activism and a strong supporter of US-India relationship, on Sunday announced he was running for the 2020 US Presidential race from the Democratic party.
Bloomberg, 77, is possibly the last top Democratic leader to enter the crowded presidential primaries that is all set to begin with Iowa caucus on February 3.
A close friend of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bloomberg has been a frequent traveller to India in the last few years.
Given the complexities associated with the US presidential elections, very few leaders announce their candidature so close to the primaries.
In an announcement, that was being widely speculated in the political circles for the past few weeks, Bloomberg set his eye on the Republican incumbent Donald Trump, who is facing impeachment proceedings by the Democratic party.
"I'm running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. We cannot afford four more years of President Trump's reckless and unethical actions. He represents an existential threat to our country and our values,” Bloomberg said.
Notably both Bloomberg and Trump are fellow New Yorkers and know each other very well.
It's only recently Trump announced that he is moving his residential base to Florida.
"If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage. The stakes could not be higher. We must win this election. And we must begin rebuilding America. I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government, and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead," Bloomberg said.
The former New York Mayor, who owns Bloomberg news wire and has been a successful American businessman, said that he will fund his own campaign and will not accept corporate donations.
"Mike will not accept donations and will self-fund his campaign, as he did for all three of his successful mayoral runs,” his campaign said.
In a statement, the Bloomberg campaign said from the moment that President Trump emerged as the Republican nominee in 2016, he has been singularly focused on defeating him and stopping his dangerous ideas.
“Mike spoke out against Trump as a candidate at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 and helped win 21 Democratic Congressional seats in the 2018 mid-term election to win back the House. Just last cycle, Mike helped Democrats flip the Virginia House and Senate, giving them full control of state government for the first time in a generation," the campaign said.
"An entrepreneur, mayor, and philanthropist, Mike has built a career following data, bringing people together, and putting progress over partisanship," his campaign described him in its first press statement.
Bloomberg has given away $10 billion to charitable causes, and Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 510 cities and 129 countries across the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people, his campaign said.
Early this month, Trump had told reporters at the White House that Bloomberg's candidacy would badly hit the presidential aspirations of former Vice President Joe Biden.
“He's not going to do well but I think he's going to hurt Biden actually. There's nobody I'd rather run against than little Michael," Trump said on November 8, when asked about the former Mayor of New York.
Currently there are about a dozen and half Democratic party leaders in the race to 2020 primaries, the winner of which will eventually be nominated by the party at its convention next summer in Wisconsin to contest against Trump for the November presidential elections.