By Brett LoGiurato | 17 minutes ago.
Buried near the end of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s surprising endorsement of President Barack Obama today is this brutal line, which serves as the theme for why he did not endorse Mitt Romney.
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 line is a shot at both Obama and Romney, but they obviously hurt Romney more — he’s not the one getting Bloomberg’s endorsement.
But Bloomberg’s endorsement also puts a ding in Romney’s move to the center in the last couple weeks of the campaign, and it adds to the Obama campaign’s argument that Romney’s “Moderate Mitt” argument over the past few weeks is an act.
Bloomberg doesn’t appear to be embracing the theory that, if elected, Romney will govern as a moderate. It’s a different take from what many newspapers that flipped their endorsements from Obama to Romney this time around, as Dave Weigel noted recently.
Take, for example, the Des Moines Register’s endorsement, which has been the most talked about thus far this campaign:
“Romney had to tack to the right during the primary season. Since then, he has recalibrated his campaign to focus on his concern for the middle class, and that is believable if the real Mitt Romney is the one on display as governor of Massachusetts who passed a health care reform plan that became the model for the one passed by Congress.”
Bloomberg, though, isn’t buying it. Bloomberg is particularly concerned with the issue of climate change after superstorm Sandy, and he would have voted for the Romney of old who signed onto a regional cap-and-trade program as governor of Massachusetts. But Romney, Bloomberg opines, will not revert to that in the White House:
He couldn’t have been more right. But since then, he has reversed course, abandoning the very cap-and-trade program he once supported. This issue is too important. We need determined leadership at the national level to move the nation and the world forward.
I believe Mitt Romney is a good and decent man, and he would bring valuable business experience to the Oval Office. He understands that America was built on the promise of equal opportunity, not equal results. In the past he has also taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care. But he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the health-care model he signed into law in Massachusetts.