After Amazon decided not to open a New York City headquarters in February, CEO Jeff Bezos made a phone call to the city’s former mayor.
Bezos wanted to know if Bloomberg would consider running for president in 2020 – which the New York billionaire said ‘no’ to at the time.
Bloomberg, meanwhile, asked Bezos if he would reconsider putting their HQ2 in New York, to which Bezos similarly said ‘no,’ according to Recode.
Now, months later, Bloomberg is in fact on the cusp of entering the race for the Democratic nomination as he’s watched the party’s leading moderate, former Vice President Joe Biden, struggle. On Friday, Bloomberg filed paperwork to qualify for the presidential primary in Alabama, which has the earliest deadline of any state. He has still not announced his candidacy.
It’s unclear what prompted Bezos’ call earlier this year, or what he thinks of Bloomberg’s recent inching toward the race. It’s also not known whether the discussion took place before or after Bloomberg’s March 5 announcement that he wouldn’t run for president.
Bezos, who’s been described as a libertarian, has largely stayed out of the world of big-money political donations, other than a $10 million gift with his then-wife MacKenzie to a super PAC that aims to elect military veterans to Congressional office. –Recode
As Recode notes, it’s understandable that Bezos would endorse an alternative to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders – both of whom want to separate him from billions of dollars with their new wealth tax proposals.
Both Democratic Senators have also been vocal critics of Amazon – ranging from knocking the company’s notoriously poor working conditions in its warehouses, to its growing power over various industries. Warren has notably proposed a plan to break up Amazon and other tech giants.
According to the report, some believe a Bloomberg run would actually help Warren’s chances by weakening moderate democrat Joe Biden.