Presidential bid was media pipedream, Bloomberg says

BLACKPOOL Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:40pm EDT

Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg delivers a speech during the first day of the British Conservative Party's annual conference in Blackpool, September 30, 2007.REUTERS/Toby Melville

Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg delivers a speech during the first day of the British Conservative Party's annual conference in Blackpool, September 30, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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BLACKPOOL (Reuters) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Sunday he never considered running for U.S. president and any suggestion he had was concocted by the press.

Bloomberg was at the centre of speculation earlier this year when he left the Republican Party that he planned an independent bid for the presidency in 2008, although he denied it.

Asked if he had ever toyed with the idea, Bloomberg told reporters in this northern English seaside resort: "I did not, the newspapers toyed with that ... I'm on record as always saying I was not a candidate for higher, any other office."

Bloomberg, who is in his second term as New York mayor, retains a majority stake in Bloomberg L.P. which has a news service that competes with Reuters Plc.

"I chose not to sell my company, but I do not plan to go back and run it," he said, adding that when he stepped down he probably would devote himself to philanthropy. His interests are in public health, education, the arts and government processes.

Bloomberg earlier gave a speech to the opposition Conservative Party's annual conference in Blackpool and took aim at conservative American politicians who ran up budget deficits.

"It seems to me that the Conservative Party in the UK is much more fiscally conservative than many American politicians who call themselves conservative," he said.

"Too many of them want to run up enormous deficits and hope that some way, somehow -- someone else will pay for it. That's not conservatism, that's alchemy, or if you like, lunacy."

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