WASHINGTON -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized the 2012 GOP presidential field for the candidates' extreme positions on Sunday, lambasting their questioning of science and rejection of more moderate policies.
"Some of these candidates' positions really trouble me," Bloomberg said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "To not believe in science is just ridiculous."
Bloomberg was likely referring to the fact that the majority of the GOP presidential contenders have questioned the scientific consensus of manmade climate change. Perry also questions evolution.
Candidate and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has also called out his fellow candidates on the issue.
"When we take a position that isn't willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Science has said about what is causing climate change and man's contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position," he said on ABC's "This Week" in August.
Bloomberg used to be a Republican, but in 2007, he left the party over ideological differences and became unaffiliated.
Bloomberg praised former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry for the two positions that have caused them the most grief with the Republican base. On health care, Bloomberg said Romney's plan turned out to be "the only health care change that really has worked." On Perry mandating young girls receive a vaccine against HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that is the leading cause of cervical cancer, Bloomberg said "he probably did what's right."
"Both of these two candidates -- who seem to be ahead at the moment -- have things I agree with and things I don't agree with," he said.
Bloomberg said that despite the tough economy, Obama can still be reelected in 2012, and he doesn't believe that a third-party candidate would be viable.
"The incumbents have a real advantage," he stated. "If I were the president, I'd go out there and emphasize the things I have done. I'd say some things haven't worked, and I'm sorry about that, but I keep trying. I think the president is a very viable candidate. You'll have a real horserace here, no matter who the Republican nominee is."
Bloomberg added he will "probably not" endorse a candidate because he has to "work with whoever wins."
"I have an obligation to do what is right for the city of New York and not just to go out there and express my views, even if i think it's right for the country. My job is to make sure that New York City benefits from whoever is in office, and I'll work toward that."
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