New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a political independent, today endorsed President Barack Obama, calling him "a president to lead on climate change."

Writing in an op-ed for his own Bloomberg View news site today, the mayor said Hurricane Sandy "brought the stakes of Tuesday's presidential election into sharp relief."

The endorsement comes just hours after Bloomberg Businessweek magazine released the cover of its next issue, with the headline It's Global Warming, Stupid, taking up more than half of the page. The remainder showed an image of a flooded New York City street.

"Our climate is changing," Bloomberg wrote. "And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be — given this week's devastation — should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."

The mayor wrote that New York City has recently implemented several steps to reduce its carbon footprint but, he says, the rest of the nation needs to follow and national leadership will be required to make it happen. He cites the Obama administration's initiatives to set higher vehicle fuel-efficiency standards and control mercury emissions as primary examples of the president's leadership in protecting the environment.

Bloomberg has been critical of the president in the past, and he did not shy away from that criticism in his editorial. He called the past four years disappointing and said Obama has not done enough to create a centrist coalition.

But despite his reservations, he says Mitt Romney's reversal on climate change — the candidate supported a regional cap-and-trade plan while he was governor of Massachusetts, a position he has since abandoned — shows lack of leadership in regard to climate. "This issue is too important," Bloomberg wrote. "We need determined leadership at the national level to move the nation and the world forward."

The mayor also took the opportunity to praise other Obama positions, including the Race to the Top education program and his support of a woman's right to choose.

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Michael Bloomberg endorses Barack Obama, 'a president to lead on climate change'
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's surprise endorsement of Obama follows the devastating effect of Hurricane Sandy on New York City and the Northeast.