Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has not officially announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for United States president, but on Tuesday he visited the Arkansas state Capitol to file paperwork to have his name appear on the ballot.
"It doesn’t mean we’re going to run, but we do have to make sure we’re on the ballot if we do run," Bloomberg said. Talking with reporters, Bloomberg said he will support the Democratic nominee regardless of whether he decides to run.
Bloomberg said he’s skipping traditional early voting states to focus on Super Tuesday states on March 3. Last week, he sent staff members to file in Alabama.
The billionaire said it’s an easy choice because President Trump is running for reelection.
"I could not be more clear. I do not think Donald Trump should get elected," Bloomberg said.
He argued that he has never supported Trump’s candidacy. In 2016, he said he gave a speech saying that Donald Trump was not suitable to be president, suggesting that lack of honesty and civility is not good for the country and that he wants someone better for his children and grandchildren.
If he does run, Bloomberg said he will finance his campaign with his own money. He said a campaign is expensive whether candidates use their own funds or someone else’s, and that he prefers to avoid owing anything to another. Bloomberg also said he is proud of how he has managed his finances.
"I’ve made all my money myself. The bottom line is, I am giving most of it away."
When asked why he personally visited Arkansas to file, Bloomberg said he wanted to show respect to the state’s residents.
"I like people. I think nobody expected that from me when I first ran for office back in 2001. I still walk up to everybody on the street and shake everybody’s hand."
Bloomberg said he swore to not answer any questions regarding the timeframe of his decision to run, but said he is "getting closer" to revealing his choice.
Tuesday was the last day of Arkansas's candidate filing period for the 202o primary election.