— -- Former New York City Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg confirmed today that he is weighing the option of launching a presidential bid.
Bloomberg told the Financial Times he is looking at "all options" regarding a possible bid. He strongly condemned the 2016 campaign rhetoric, calling the discussions "distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to voters."
The New York Times reported last month that Bloomberg, concerned by Donald Trump's dominance and Hillary Clinton slipping in polls, had instructed advisers to look into the possibility of an independent run. Bloomberg himself declined to comment for that article.
If Bloomberg were to launch an independent run, he would need to get his name on the ballot in all 50 states to have a viable chance of victory. (In order to have their names appear on the ballots across the country in the general election, independent candidates have to obtain a certain number of signatures). Bloomberg told the Financial Times he would need to start putting his name on ballots in March.
Richard Winger, the editor of Ballot Access News, has previously told ABC News that, by his estimates, obtaining signatures to get on the ballot in all 50 states could cost between $2.5 and $3 million.
Financials should not be a problem for Bloomberg, who, according to Forbes, has a net worth of over $40 billion.
Bloomberg served as Mayor of New York City from 2002 through 2013.