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 SandersBernie SandersSanders blasts Clinton at Calif. rally for rejecting debate Sanders steps up his attacks in homestretch Sanders: Democratic convention could be 'messy' MORE (I-Vt.) won the Democratic nomination and either Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends his donations to veterans Sanders blasts Clinton at Calif. rally for rejecting debate Michelle Fields warns Clinton camp: 'Don’t treat Trump as serious candidate’ MORE or Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzSanders steps up his attacks in homestretch 5 takeaways from the rush for campaign cash Carson: 'I would not want to be on the ticket or in the Cabinet’ 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.

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