Bloomberg says he's eyeing 2016 run
© Getty Images

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergWHO leader issues warning on 'harmful' e-cigarettes Six months in, two challenges could define Biden's presidency Why Democrats' .5 trillion reconciliation bill is a losing game MORE 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 SandersBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet Angst grips America's most liberal city Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire MORE (I-Vt.) won the Democratic nomination and either Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement MORE or Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade GOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate 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.