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Former New York Mayor Bloomberg will not mount independent bid for White House

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he has decided not to run for the White House. The announcement came after several months of speculation.

Former three-term mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg has opted against

mounting a bid for US Presidency

after two failed attempts in previous elections.

Bloomberg was tipped to run as an independent candidate but was advised that he didn't stand a chance to win, and that a vote for him would only embolden the chances of

extremist candidates

. Bloomberg said online he did not want to risk enabling a victory by Republicans

Donald Trump

or Ted Cruz.

"There is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz," the 74-year-old billionaire media mogul said.

"Extremism is on the march, and unless we stop it, our problems at home and abroad will grow worse," he wrote further.

"That is not a risk I can take in good conscience."

The billionaire founder of Bloomberg L.P., which includes Bloomberg News, indicated that he would have had to spend $1 billion of his own money to mount a viable campaign. But a poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos in early March indicated that only 12 percent of 1,695 participants said they would support Bloomberg in a three-way race for the White House as an independent against Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right

Bloomberg expressed that he had been urged to enter the race as a "patriotic duty" with many moderate voters feeling opposed to the current selection of candidates.

However, the former mayor's associates said that Bloomberg felt increasingly ostracized by Donald Trump's rise on the right spectrum of the Republican Party and Hillary Clinton's shift to the left among Democrats in a bid to gain the support of voters, who were previously attracted to socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Donald Trump

Michael Bloomberg said that despite the fact that he had "good relations" with Donald Trump he did not want to enable his ascendency to the presidency

"When I look at the data, it's clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win," he said in a statement published by his Bloomberg news agency.

In his political career, Michael Bloomberg repeated switched party affiliation between Democrats and Republicans, eventually asserting his position as an independent. Bloomberg is regarded as social liberal, who supports gay marriage and abortion rights, and is also a vocal proponent of gun control.

Attack on Donald Trump

Bloomberg also acknowledged that he and Trump had been on "friendly terms" but the former mayor added that

Trump's aggressive campaign

only appealed "to our worst impulses."

"We cannot 'make America great again' by turning our backs on the values that made us the world's greatest nation in the first place," Bloomberg said.

"He has run the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people's prejudices and fears," Bloomberg wrote.

ss/jm (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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