Bloomberg Overheard Praising Romney

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 18 2012 5:12 PM

Bloomberg Overheard Praising Romney

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Michael Bloomberg Mayor of New York City speaks at the Robin Hood Veterans Summit at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on May 7, 2012 in New York City.

Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The Robin Hood Foundation

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hasn't publicly endorsed anyone in the presidential race, but at a party the other day, he seemed to tip his hand:

Mr. Bloomberg said that he believed Mr. Romney would probably be better at running the country than Mr. Obama, according to two guests.

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But Mr. Bloomberg said he could not support Mr. Romney because he disagreed with him on so many social issues, these two people said. The mayor mentioned two such issues: abortion rights and gun control.

As a result, Mr. Bloomberg said, he intended to remain neutral, said one guest.

Bloomberg fits the profile of the socially liberal Wall Street types who have soured on Obama since he starting calling them "fat cat bankers" and pushing the 2010 Dodd Frank financial reform law. And he was suspected to be a quiet backer of John McCain in 2008.

Obama tacitly endorsed the mayor by declining to campaign for his Democratic challenger, Bill Thompson, in the 2009 mayoral race, which ended up being extremely close. An intervention by the president might have been a gamechanger.

Apparently miffed by Obama's populist rhetoric, Bloomy doesn't seem to be returning the favor.

Matt Taylor is a reporter living in Brooklyn. He was the political correspondent for the National Memo and a staff reporter at his hometown newspaper, The East Hampton Star. He's a contributor to Newsweek/The Daily Beast. You can reach him on Twitter @matthewt_ny