SALT LAKE CITY — Should Utah Sen. Mitt Romney attempt another shot at the White House — but this time on the independent ticket, with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as his running mate?
The hypothetical Romney-Bloomberg ticket would give millions and millions of independent and moderate Democratic and Republican voters stuck in the middle a solid choice for president, which doesn’t exist now between democratic-socialist Bernie Sanders and current White House occupant and Twitter-flamethrower President Donald Trump.
That’s what author, Maryland business executive and former U.S. Senate candidate Neal Simon wrote in his article he shared with Lee Lonsberry on KSL NewsRadio's show Live Mic.
Simon’s article was published Monday in The Bulwark. The article is taken from Simon’s book: “Contract to Unite America: Ten Reforms to Reclaim Our Republic.”
He said changing the culture of an organization begins at the top and uniting the country starts with the president.
While campaigning, Simon said he called for a bipartisan administration. He said the idea came to him from Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain who said his biggest regret as a presidential candidate was not naming former Democratic Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman as his running mate.
“I think the country is starved for [a unity ticket],” Simon said.
In his unity scenario, Lee asked Simon, does Romney have to be on top of the ticket?
“In this particular cycle, given that you have a Republican incumbent, I think that if you had a Democrat or a left-leaning politician on the top of the ticket, you would almost guarantee a win for Trump.
“The way for this to work, you’d need a right-leaning politician on the top of the ticket who could draw some of the votes from the right,” Simon said.
Bloomberg as vice president
“How did you land on Bloomberg?” Lee asked.
“Bloomberg has high name ID, and that’s something that’s difficult to develop nationally,” Simon said.
For a unity ticket, two big names with credibility are needed for the public to respect them, he said.
Simon pointed out that Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York City twice as a Republican. He was elected to his third term in 2009 as an independent on the Republican ballot line.
He said Bloomberg’s strategy has been brilliant: Let the other Democratic presidential candidates “beat each other up” in the early caucuses and primaries, and then spend big — for Bloomberg, this could mean hundreds of millions — on Super Tuesday, when a third of all delegates in 16 contests are allocated in a single day: this year March 3.
Running for U.S. Senate, Simon said, taught him “how money moves the needle.”
“Those 30 seconds ads actually have a huge impact on all of us. Much more than you would think,” he said.