Michael Bloomberg says he won't run for president in 2020

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By Allan Smith  with NBC News Politics
Image: Michael Bloomberg speaks at a news conference at a gun control advoc
Michael Bloomberg speaks at a news conference at a gun control advocacy event on Feb. 26, 2019, in Las Vegas.   -  Copyright  John Locher AP file

Billionaire businessman and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday that he won't run for president in 2020.

Instead, he said in an opinion column published on Bloomberg, he will launch a new climate change initiative called "Beyond Carbon," redouble his efforts to combat gun violence and continue to support likeminded political candidates.

"It's essential that we nominate a Democrat who will be in the strongest position to defeat Donald Trump and bring our country back together," he said. "We cannot allow the primary process to drag the party to an extreme that would diminish our chances in the general election and translate into 'Four More Years.'"

"Many people have urged me to run," he continued. "Some have told me that to win the Democratic nomination, I would need to change my views to match the polls. But I've been hearing that my whole political career."

Bloomberg said he has grown increasingly "frustrated by the incompetence in the Oval Office," adding that he knows "we can do better as a country."

"And I believe I would defeat Donald Trump in a general election," he said. "But I am clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field."

Bloomberg's decision not to run was first reported by The New York Times.

Bloomberg, who has changed his party affiliation on multiple occassions, would have occupied a moderate lane in the Democratic primary. But with the likes of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., having announced a bid while former Vice President Joe Biden appears closer to announcing his own run, Bloomberg's avenue was looking a bit crowded. The Atlantic reported in January that Bloomberg was unlikely to run if Biden jumped into the race.

Though he holds liberal views on gun control and climate change, his view of Wall Street as well as his support for "stop and frisk" as mayor may have proven difficult to overcome among an increasingly liberal field of candidates.