-- Billionaire businessman and three-time mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg urged Americans to vote for Hillary Clinton in November and unite against Republican nominee Donald Trump, who he called a "dangerous demagogue."
"I'm a New Yorker and I know a con when I see one," he told the crowd about Trump.
Bloomberg, 74, an independent and former Republican stumping for Clinton, acknowledged differences with the nominee he was endorsing but said that it was important to put them aside.
"There are times when I disagree with Hillary. But whatever our disagreements may be, I’ve come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue," Bloomberg said.
He also called Trump a "bomb thrower."
"Today, as an Independent, an entrepreneur, and a former mayor, I believe we need a president who is a problem-solver, not a bomb-thrower; someone who can bring members of Congress together, to get big things done. And I know Hillary Clinton can do that, because I saw it firsthand!" he said.
Bloomberg, who followed the tenure of Trump backer Rudy Giuliani as mayor, praised Clinton's leadership in the wake of 9/11.
"I was elected mayor two months after 9/11, as a Republican — and I saw how Hillary Clinton worked with Republicans in Washington to ensure that New York got the help it needed to recover and rebuild," he said. "Throughout her time in the Senate, we didn’t always agree — but she always listened."
Bloomberg’s take on Trump comes on the heels of having weighed a run for president as a third party candidate, something he also toyed with in 2008. Ultimately, after his his chances of winning appeared to be slim, he decided against it.
Bloomberg has been both a Democrat and a Republican at different times in his career. He registered as a Republican before his first campaign for mayor in 2001. He abandoned the Republicans to become an independent in 2007.
Bloomberg is considered to be a pro-business politician, and has strong ties to Wall Street. Socially, however, he is considered closer in line to the Democrats than the Republicans. He is a strong believer in climate change, and considers it an issue of critical importance.
Trump is frequently criticized by environmentalists for denying the potential dangers of climate change.
Bloomberg's tenure as mayor of New York is not without controversy. Observers frequently point to his tenure in office as the origin point of the widely criticized “stop and frisk” policy, a practice of the New York City Police Department in which cops stop and question a pedestrian and then frisk them for weapons.
He frequently clashed with the city's labor unions, and presided over a spike in homelessness.
At the end of the speech, Bloomberg fell back on his track record as a businessman to criticize Trump.
"Most of us don’t pretend that we’re smart enough to make every big decision by ourselves," he said. "And most of us who have our names on the door know that we are only as good as our word, but not Donald Trump."