Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a strong indication of his displeasure with the presidential race Thursday night and dropped hints about his thinking on a White House run of his own.
At a book party his foundation hosted for columnist Peggy Noonan at his foundation in New York, Bloomberg called the campaign "a race to the extremes." Instead of trying to fix the country's institutions, candidates "are trying to exploit" them, a transcript of the event quotes him as saying.
The list of problems is long but, "The actual solutions that Americans seek have been in short supply," he said, citing wage stagnation, "American retreat" and "a corrupt, gridlocked, and broken two party system that answers to lobbyists and special interests instead of the American people."
That is why, he continued, "you see the current candidates out there doing well, and not the conventional ones."
The former mayor suggested to the crowd that he had a sense of what he'd do, were he to run.
And his final comments on the matter had the sound of a campaign speech, even if it wasn't.
"From my time in both business and government, I know that you don't solve problems by pointing fingers, or making pie-in-the-sky promises," he said.
"You solve them by bringing people together around common goals, promoting innovation, demonstrating independence, and recognizing that compromise is not a bad word.
"We will have a very bright future - but only if we build it together."