New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is scheduled to meet with House Republicans on Thursday.Now it's not entirely unreasonable to think the GOP will increase their New York membership in five weeks, perhaps substantially, so the ability to work with Bloomberg on economic issues makes sense. Still, leadership may not want to get too cozy with a guy supporting a primary target Nov. 2.
The GOP’s invitation to the Republican-turned-Independent is an unusual move. Bloomberg, who supports gun control, recently criticized Republicans for their handling of a bill for 9/11 responders and has endorsed several Democrats in the midterm elections.
Bloomberg, considered a possible presidential candidate, will speak at the weekly House GOP Theme Team meeting on Thursday morning.
“Theme Team” organizer Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) explained that Bloomberg was asked to appear because he is a leader outside the Washington Beltway whom GOP lawmakers want to talk to. The point of the weekly Theme Team meetings is to give House GOP lawmakers and staffers a chance to have off-the-record conversations with key outsiders on important issues.
Kingston said, “He has friends on both sides of the aisle, and he has influence on both sides of the aisle. We feel that he has something to offer and we want to hear what’s on his mind and what he’s up to.”
He added that there is no tension between House Republicans and Bloomberg, though he said the mayor’s political endorsements may be discussed on Thursday.
Bloomberg’s office did not comment for this article.
Bloomberg, who has presented himself as a centrist willing to work with both parties, recently hosted a fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the No. 1 target for Republicans this fall.It's a great motivator to vote, though, and he'll soon realize some fads last a lot longer than others.
The billionaire mayor also played a round of golf with President Obama at Martha’s Vineyard this summer.
Bloomberg has endorsed Rep. Joe Sestak (D) over Republican Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania’s Senate race, and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) over Republican Ken Buck, a Tea Party favorite.
But Bloomberg has also endorsed some Republicans, including Rep. Mark Kirk (Ill.), who is running for Obama’s old Senate seat.
Bloomberg has been critical of the Tea Party movement that has boosted several GOP candidates in Republican primaries across the country.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Bloomberg called the Tea Party movement a “fad.”
“People are angry,” he told The New York Times. “[A]nger, however, is not a government strategy. It’s not a way to govern.”