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Murdoch urges Bloomberg over last-ditch white house bid

It is not the first time that Murdoch has publicly encouraged the billionaire founder of the Bloomberg financial news agency to run for president

Published: Updated:

Just in case the U.S. election isn’t volatile enough, media mogul Rupert Murdoch on Wednesday goaded billionaire Michael Bloomberg into declaring a late White House run that would likely send TV ratings even higher.

“This is Bloomberg’s last chance. You never know until your hat is in the ring! Events change everything, especially during elections,” tweeted the 84-year-old Australian tycoon, newly engaged to Mick Jagger’s ex, Jerry Hall.

It is not the first time that Murdoch has publicly encouraged the billionaire founder of the Bloomberg financial news agency to run for president.

“With Trump becoming very serious candidate, it’s time for next billionaire candidate, Mike Bloomberg to step into ring. Greatest mayor,” he wrote in one of two tweets on August 24 praising the former New York mayor.

His latest intervention comes as Bloomberg reportedly weighs whether to launch a late bid as an independent, appalled by the rise of Donald Trump on the extreme right-wing of the Republican party and troubled by Hillary Clinton’s struggle to contain the left-leaning Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

On Thursday, Trump was locked in an all-out row with Murdoch’s Fox News, snubbing the next Republican debate because the TV channel refused to pull anchor Megyn Kelly from the moderating team after the two clashed publicly in August.

Associates told The New York Times that Bloomberg has given himself until early March to make a decision, pending the outcome in Iowa and New Hampshire, which next month cast the first nomination votes in the 2016 presidential race.

Close to Wall Street, a hawk on security but heavily involved in the gun control campaign, favorable to immigration reform and socially liberal, Bloomberg is an unusual mix for an American seeking high office.

As mayor of New York from 2002 to 2013, he pushed through a strong health agenda, banning smoking in bars, restaurants and public spaces, and forcing restaurant chains to put calorie counts on menus.

Trump, the frontrunner among Republicans, reacted with glee at the prospect of going up against a fellow Manhattan tycoon. “I know Michael very well and would love to compete with him,” he told CNN.