Michael Bloomberg will not run for president

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Former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg attends the Summit of Local elected for Climate at the Paris city hall on December 04, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

NEW YORK —  Michael Bloomberg has announced that he will not run for president of the United States, ending months of speculation about the media mogul’s late-stage entry into the 2016 race.

The former New York City mayor reached his decision, he said Monday, after concluding that a three-way race would benefit Donald Trump and therefore threaten the domestic stability and national security of the United States.

Trump’s proposals “would divide us at home and compromise our moral leadership around the world,” Bloomberg wrote in a column on Bloomberg View, his opinion site. “The end result would be to embolden our enemies, threaten the security of our allies, and put our own men and women in uniform at greater risk.”

“I love our country too much to play a role in electing a candidate who would weaken our unity and darken our future — and so I will not enter the race for president of the United States,” he wrote.

Bloomberg had spent months preparing for a potential candidacy, fearing that the two parties might nominate staunchly partisan figures like Trump or Ted Cruz on the right and Bernie Sanders on the left.

Bloomberg had brought on dozens of advisers and campaign staff, conducted internal polling in nearly two-dozen states, opened offices in Texas and North Carolina and created a campaign website and television ads, one of which he released to The New York Times. Bloomberg’s advisers had also started vetting former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen as a possible running mate.

While speculation about Bloomberg’s entry into the race was a favorite topic of New York and Washington’s chattering classes, his candidacy was always viewed as a long shot. Even in a Trump-vs.-Sanders general election, Bloomberg still polled a distant-third with just 16% support, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

With Monday’s decision, Bloomberg, 74, has closed the door on what many believe was one of his lifelong ambitions.

“I’ve never run for political office myself,” Bloomberg wrote in 2001, a year before he became the mayor of New York. “If ever I ran, it would be for a job in the executive branch of government—mayor, governor or president. I think I’d be great in any of these three jobs that mirror my experience.”