Bloomberg says he's eyeing 2016 run
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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said publicly for the first time that he is considering a 2016 presidential run.

Bloomberg told the Financial Times for a story published Monday that he was "looking at all the options" regarding a bid.

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“I find the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters,” Bloomberg told the newspaper, saying the public deserved "a lot better."

The New York Times reported last month that Bloomberg was considering a third-party presidential bid, suggesting he could spend at least $1 billion on the uphill fight.

That report says Bloomberg set a deadline of early March for exploring a potential bid, and has asked aides to draw up plans for a potential independent campaign.

“I’m listening to what candidates are saying and what the primary voters appear to be doing,” Bloomberg told the Financial Times.

The New York Times report suggested that Bloomberg would be more likely to launch a third-party bid if Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill Dems fear lasting damage from Clinton-Sanders fight MORE (I-Vt.) won the Democratic nomination and either Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Trump Jr. declines further Secret Service protection: report Report: Mueller warned Manafort to expect an indictment MORE or Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea GOP state lawmakers meet to plan possible constitutional convention MORE (Texas) won the GOP race.

Trump last month downplayed the threat from Bloomberg, saying he would welcome him in the race.

"I’d beat him and I’d love him to do it actually, I love the competition," he told CNN.

This story was updated at 4:33 p.m.