Mike Bloomberg returns from political retirement to back Clinton

Michael Bloomberg, the Democrat turned Republican turned Independent who won three consecutive terms as New York City's mayor, will endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her White House bid out of concern over the candidacy of Donald Trump, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

Bloomberg, a billionaire who was a protean politician while in office from 2002-2013, has concentrated on philanthropy since leaving office. According to The Times, Bloomberg is said to be dismayed by the prospect Trump may prevail in his bid, and is eager to help Clinton appeal to moderate voters, the report added.

Bloomberg will endorse Clinton in a prime time address at the Democratic National Convention.

The billionaire who founded the eponymous news and information company, will make the case for Clinton "from the perspective of a business leader and an independent," Howard Wolfson, a senior adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, told The Times. Wolfson once worked for Clinton as a top aide during her failed 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination.

In 2012, Bloomberg endorsed President Barack Obama, citing his leadership on climate change. The self-made billionaire flirted with an independent bid earlier this year, but ultimately decided against making a run for the Oval Office.

It's unclear exactly what effect, if any, Bloomberg's endorsement will have on Clinton's candidacy.

Bloomberg won two resounding victories as a liberal Republican who ran on the GOP line to avoid what was then a crowded Democratic primary. However, his legacy was tarnished by controversial legislation that allowed him to run for a third term despite city term limits.

He won, in part by spending tens of millions of his own money on the campaign. Yet despite high marks during his first 2 terms, his final years in office were defined by bans on salt, sugar and smoking that infuriated citizens and businesses alike.

His attempt to regulate sugary sodas was eventually overturned by a judge, and he departed office with approval ratings of less than 50 percent.

The Times' full report can be found on its website.