New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed President Barack Obama on Thursday, citing climate change as a growing concern in the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
"The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast — in lost lives, lost homes and lost business — brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief," Bloomberg wrote in Bloomberg View, a part of his Bloomberg media empire.
"We need leadership from the White House — and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks," Bloomberg wrote.
The New York City mayor is a political independent, and noted, "If the 1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney were running for president, I may well have voted for him because, like so many other independents, I have found the past four years to be, in a word, disappointing."
The New York Times noted that Bloomberg has been sharply critical of both candidates for ignoring some of the problems which the US confronts. The Times said Bloomberg's endorsement was largely unexpected as both Obama and Romney had unsuccessfully sought his endorsement for months, believing that he could influence independent voters.
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Earlier, Bloomberg turned down an offer from Obama to visit New York City this week, The Washington Post noted. He said he didn't mean to "diss" the president, but was simply too busy with getting the city back on its feet.
Both Bloomberg and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo mentioned the likelihood that climate change was behind Hurricane Sandy, which left at least 38 New Yorkers dead, and crippled the electricity grid and subway lines.
"Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be — given this week’s devastation — should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action," Bloomberg wrote.
In a statement issued after Bloomberg's endorsement, Obama vowed to stand by New York "in its time of need."
"While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time," Obama said, according to The Los Angeles Times. "Just as importantly, we agree that whether we are Democrats, Republicans or independents, there is only one way to solve these challenges and move forward as a nation -- together."
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