Billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially announced he is standing to be the Democratic Party presidential nominee.
Mr. Bloomberg, a former Republican who has expressed reservations about his adopted party’s leftward drift, said in a statement that he would offer a pragmatic option to voters in a campaign to unseat a president who “represents an existential threat to our country and our values.”
In a statement, the 77-years old said he was standing “to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America”.
“Defeating Donald Trump — and rebuilding America — is the most urgent and important fight of our lives. And I’m going all in,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “I offer myself as a doer and a problem solver — not a talker. And someone who is ready to take on the tough fights — and win.”
Mr. Bloomberg’s late entry into the race has a has startled rival campaigns in recent days by reserving almost $35 million in airtime for television commercials outlining his biography and political agenda, a figure that dwarfs other campaigns’ advertising budgets.
He enters the race after months of debate over wealth inequality in the US, with Mr Sanders and Ms Warren announcing plans for steep tax rises for billionaires. Unveiling his tax proposals in September, Mr Sanders said: “Billionaires should not exist.”
President Trump taunted Mr Bloomberg earlier in November, saying there was “nobody I’d rather run against than little Michael”.
Michael Bloomberg is the eighth richest American with a net-worth of $54.4bn (£42bn), according to Forbes.