Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg said if he ran for President of the United States he would completely divest himself from his finance and media empire.
“The company would either go into a blind trust or I would sell it,” Bloomberg told Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson. “But I think at my age, if selling it is possible, I would do that. At some point, you’re going to die anyway, so you want to do it before then.”
Bloomberg said that he has so far not investigated the logistics of how it would be done, but noted that it “would take a long time.”
Henderson then pressed the ex-mayor on how Bloomberg media would cover him during a campaign. The billionaire said he had already engaged in discussions about the issue with Bloomberg’s head of news, John Micklethwait.
“We’ve always had a policy that we don’t cover ourselves. I happen to believe, in my heart of hearts, you can’t be independent and nobody’s going to believe that you’re independent,” he said.
“And quite honestly, I don’t want the reporters I’m paying to write a bad story about me! I don’t want them to be independent. So you’re going to have to do something,” he added with a laugh.
Bloomberg said his companies would either completely divest from political coverage or pepper news with frequent disclaimers about ownership.
“I’m not a candidate yet, so I’ve got plenty of time to think about it,” he said. “But I have thought a lot about that, because the news part of our business is a very big part of our business.”
With the 2020 Democratic field wide open, Bloomberg has increasingly taken steps toward a possible presidential run against Donald Trump. The executives has modeled himself as a centrist problem solver and his vast fortune would make him a formidable competitor in all 50 states.