Back when there was talk of Michael Bloomberg running for president I predicted that he would not run if Obama was the candidate because they would be competing for essentially the same voters, and the candidate from a major party would have a tremendous advantage. Once again Bloomberg was critical of other politicians, except Obama:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has unleashed another flurry of jabs on Washington, ridiculing the federal government’s rebate checks as being “like giving a drink to an alcoholic” on Thursday, and said the presidential candidates are looking for easy solutions to complex economic problems.
The billionaire and potential independent presidential candidate also said the nation “has a balance sheet that’s starting to look more and more like a third-world country.”
President Bush signed legislation Wednesday that will result in cash rebates ranging from $300 to $1,200 for more than 130 million people.
The federal checks are the centerpiece of the government’s emergency effort to stimulate the economy, under the theory that most people will spend the money right away.
But Bloomberg does not believe it will do much good. And his harsh words at a news conference Thursday reflect the view among some of his associates that the country’s economic woes present a unique opportunity for him to launch a third-party bid for the White House.
Once he got to Obama, he sure sounded different:
In his answer, he praised Democrat Barack Obama for the plan the Illinois senator outlined on Wednesday that would create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to rebuild highways, bridges, airports and other public projects. Obama projects it could generate nearly 2 million jobs.
Last month, Bloomberg and Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania announced a coalition that would urge more investment in infrastructure.
“I don’t know whether Senator Obama looked to see what I’ve been advocating, or not — you’ll have to ask him — but he’s doing the right thing,” Bloomberg said.