Three days after Superstorm Sandy devastated large swaths of New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come out in favor of Barack Obama for a second term, saying he is more serious about preventing climate change.
In an Op-Ed on Bloomberg View Thursday afternoon, the mayor wrote that he might have voted for the "1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney," but that the 2012 version no longer considers climate change to be a priority.
"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," he wrote.
"One sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics," Bloomberg said.
In the editorial Bloomberg criticized Obama for engaging in partisan politics and embracing a "divisive populist agenda," but praised him for his Race to the Top education program, his health care law and his stances on abortion and marriage equality.
He also had praise for Romney, calling him a "good and decent man" who would "bring valuable business experience to the Oval Office."
But he criticized Romney for his move to the right in recent years.
"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," Bloomberg wrote.
Bloomberg was a lifelong Democrat until he joined the Republican Party in 2001 when he ran for mayor. The move allowed him to bypass the Democratic primary.
He endorsed President George W. Bush for reelection in 2004, but left the Republican party in 2007 over philosophical disagreements. He did not endorse anyone for president in 2008 and and ran in 2009 as an Independent.
Since then he has been an independent in spirit as well as name, and last month he created a super PAC that supported moderate candidates from both sides of the aisle who are committed to bipartisan legislation and support three of his biggest policy initiatives: same-sex marriage, tougher gun control laws and improving schools.