New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Thursday that he would endorse Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in his high-profile Senate showdown against Democratic challenger Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Warren11 senators urge House to pass .5T package before infrastructure bill Senate Democrats seeking information from SPACs, questioning 'misaligned incentives' UN secretary-general blasts space tourism MORE, a coup for the Republican incumbent.
Bloomberg will host a fundraiser for Brown next month, according to the New York Times — a valuable gift to Brown, who has lagged behind Warren so far in fundraising.
The mayor, a political independent, said that he was drawn to Brown because of the senator's stance on gun control. The Massachusetts lawmaker has broken with most congressional Republicans and said he opposes gun legislation that would allow concealed-carry permits issued by states to apply nationwide.
“The biggest reason the mayor is supporting Senator Brown is the senator’s help on one of our biggest gun issues: opposing concealed-carry reciprocity that would let people with gun permits from rural states like Arkansas and Kentucky carry hidden handguns in New York City,” Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser told the Times. "If you take a tough stand and buck party orthodoxy that helps the city of New York, the mayor would like to support you.'’
Bloomberg has been a vocal critic of the nation's gun laws, and hammered President Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney over their decision not to immediately discuss gun laws in the aftermath of last week's Aurora, Colo., shooting.
"Expressing sympathy is nice, and I know everybody in this country, everybody around the world, their hearts and prayers go out to the families, but somebody's got to do something about this," Bloomberg told CBS News on Sunday. "And this requires, particularly in a presidential year, the candidates for President of the United States to stand up and say once and for all, yes, they feel terrible, yes it's a tragedy, yes we have great sympathy for the families, but it's time to stand up and do something."
Bloomberg's aide would not bite on whether Warren's history of advocating for Wall Street reforms also influenced his decision making. Warren was a crucial advocate for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, while the mayor's eponymous financial data services company counts Wall Street's biggest banks among its largest clients.
“If people say the challenger is better on x, y or z, it’s not a question of whether they are or aren’t. We tend not to entertain the hypothetical over the real," Loeser said, responding to a question on Warren's criticism of Wall Street banks.
The Brown campaign said in an email Thursday they welcomed Bloomberg's endorsement.
“Mayor Bloomberg is a true independent who always puts progress over politics. That’s Scott Brown’s philosophy as well, and he is honored to have the mayor’s support," said Brown spokeswoman Alleigh Marre.