New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg downplayed reported political differences between himself and President Barack Obama, saying that Obama inherited a difficult situation.
“I happen to think that Obama’s been a much better president than people give him credit for. He’s in a very difficult situation,” Bloomberg said in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that was shared with POLITICO.
“I don’t agree with him on everything,” Bloomberg said. But, “you’ve got a Congress that is very polarized and partisan. There are problems all over the world.”
“You know, I would always like to see – and I agree with the president on a lot of the social issues. I’d like to see him do more, but you’d always like to see him do more,” Bloomberg said.
The New York mayor, who has flirted with the idea of a self-funded presidential run, was overheard at a party saying that Mitt Romney would probably be better at running the country – but Bloomberg could not endorse him over his stances on gun control and abortion.
“It’s easy to say that the president should be doing more, but he’s got a lot of things to balance. And on balance, I think he’s done a good job,” Bloomberg said.
On Romney, Bloomberg praised his record in Massachusetts – including the health care plan that has caused him so much trouble among conservatives.
“I’ve known him for a long time. He did a good job as governor of Massachusetts. I like a lot of things, he did up there. He actually put in a health care plan that worked,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg also praised Obama’s attempt to solve health care – even if the Supreme Court strikes down either the mandate at the heart of the law or the entire law.
“We have to solve the problem of health care cost that we cannot continue to afford. And the president has tried to address that. And every time he turns around, everybody says, yes, we got to solve the problem, but don’t cut mine. And that’s the real world. So he’s got a very difficult job. And if I’ve ever criticized, it’s only I like some of the stuff he’s done. I wish he had done more,” Bloomberg said.
“I don’t agree with some of the stuff he’s done. I wish he’d done a little bit less of that, but I would say that if there’s anybody in there, I think he’s hardworking and cares very much – and has a big fan base. And you can say the same things about Mitt Romney,” Bloomberg said.