Bloomberg Speaks Out About 'Immobilized' America
NYC mayor criticizes the state of the nation and the '08 candidates.
July 26, 2007 — -- In his first network interview since leaving the Republican Party in June, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told ABC's Robin Roberts that America is in a dire state.
"We have too much crime on the streets," he said on "Good Morning America." "People are getting killed throughout the country. We have an education system that's not educating everybody. That's detrimental to the whole country, including the people who are left behind."
The billionaire's profile has risen in recent months. He's hung out with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and switched parties from Republican to independent. His staff has unveiled a new Web site, Mike2008.com. And when Roberts caught up with him, he was in the swing state of Missouri, meeting St. Louis' mayor and addressing the National Urban League.
Though some might think he's getting ready for a White House run, Bloomberg said that's not on his agenda.
"I'm going to fill out my term as mayor of the city of New York, and not run for president," he said. "But … I live in this country. I'm one of 300 million people and I think that I have an obligation to speak out."
Bloomberg said he wouldn't consider being on a ticket as a vice president either.
"I've got a job," he said. "And it's a great job. And I'm going to finish this job and then my next career is gonna be in philanthropy."
Bloomberg's visits to more than 20 states in the last 18 months -- some of them key election states -- have fueled rumors of a presidential run. But he said that's just a coincidence.
"In all fairness, they're key states, 'cause there's big states. And big states are where you're more likely to have things to do, or be invited to speak," he said. "So, that's just an accident."
Despite the mayor's assertions that he's not running for president, Bloomberg's remarks on the state of the nation and its standing overseas suggest he's thinking bigger than New York City.
"We have no answers as to how we're going to have energy independence," he said. "We don't have a good immigration policy that will carry this country forward. Overseas, we have many problems. We're not liked, and sadly, our reputation's gone way downhill — overseas."