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Bloomberg: Next president will be 'adult'

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  • Michael Bloomberg looking forward to "adult who can lead" in White House
  • New York City mayor has not yet publicly endorsed any of the candidates
  • Bloomberg briefly flirted with making presidental bid
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday that whoever wins the presidency in November, "at least we'll have an adult in office who can lead and accomplish something."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he is looking for a candidate who is "willing to face reality."

During a question-and-answer session, Bloomberg said he will not have to agree on all matters with whomever he ultimately endorses for president.

"I'm looking for a candidate that is willing to face reality and say, 'We can't have everything and there are costs and we've got to make choices.'"

The billionaire media mogul added, "Some of the things they will be in favor of I will agree with, some of the things they will be in favor of I won't. But at least we'll have an adult in office who can lead and can accomplish something."

Bloomberg then ticked through a list of major issues affecting society, citing international relations, terrorism, health care, public education and energy independence as examples.

"Right now, everybody is afraid to tell the American public that there's no easy answers," he said. "Nobody is willing to do anything other than say, 'I'm in favor of motherhood and apple pie.'"

"You may have a different solution to the problem than I do, but at least tell me, tell the public, there's a reason to stand up and pull together, and it's going to require sacrifice and dedication and compromise," he said.

Asked if he was criticizing President Bush, Bloomberg said, "He's not running for office. It's immaterial, and I'm not focused on the past. I've always tried to focus on the future.

"What this country has to do is not judge George W. Bush on the last eight years. The public voted him into office twice and then he governed for eight years. What is before us now is a very important decision: who do we want to lead for the next four years ... that's what we should be focusing on."

This week, the mayor said he had no immediate plans to endorse anyone. A few months ago, Bloomberg briefly flirted about running for president. He later wrote in an editorial to the New York Times that he would not be a presidental candidate.

During the session, which was moderated by talk-show host Charlie Rose and included California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the mayor also criticized redistricting, which has made it less likely for a state and federal seats to change parties in elections.

"It has stopped Washington cold, and it is stopping state legislatures," he said.

Schwarzenegger noted that only four of 496 seats in his state have changed parties during the last three election cycles -- a system he called "really fixed." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.

All About Michael BloombergGeorge W. BushArnold Schwarzenegger

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