NYC Mayor Bloomberg ‘Not Interested’ in VP Slot

By Kaitlynn Riely | August 1, 2008 | 4:42 AM EDT

( - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told Thursday he was not interested in joining either Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) or Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as a running mate.
“I think they both have lots of choices,” said the onetime Republican-turned-independent. “I’m going to be working for the city of New York for the next 519 days, so you don’t have to worry about me being there.”
Though Bloomberg’s name has not been mentioned on either McCain or Obama’s short list for vice president recently, several months ago rumors swirled that Bloomberg might launch a third-party bid for president.
But in February he tried to put an end to those rumors in an op-ed column in the New York Times. Bloomberg, who was elected as a Republican but became an Independent in 2007, wrote in February that he believed an independent could win the presidency.
However, he added, “I listened carefully to those who encouraged me to run, but I am not – and will not be – a candidate for president.”
However, pundits continued to speculate following his announcement that Bloomberg could be a viable vice presidential option for both the Republican and Democratic tickets, theories that he again refuted Thursday.
Bloomberg was in Washington to testify before a subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. He spoke in favor of a bill that would establish additional federal support for the medical monitoring and treatment of responders and people living in the vicinity of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The legislation would fund ongoing medical research and would re-open the Federal Victim Compensation Fund for people whose injuries or illnesses emerged after the fund closed in Dec. 2003.