Retired ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson was roasted on Twitter over the weekend after choosing to endorse Michael Bloomberg for president — his first political endorsement in his 52-year career.
“When I retired seven years ago, I fully expected to remain a political observer,” Donaldson wrote in a CNN op-ed after noting that he had been “completely independent from the political process” throughout his over half a century career. “But there is too much at stake in the next election to remain silent. So, I am speaking out now in support of the candidate I believe is most qualified to be president and most able to defeat Donald Trump. That candidate is Mike Bloomberg.”
Donaldson called the former New York City mayor an “effective leader and problem solver” who can “bring people together and unite the country.”
“After a lifetime of reporting the news, now is the time for me to stand up as a private citizen and do everything in my power to help defeat Donald Trump and elect Mike Bloomberg the next president of the United States,” he wrote. (RELATED: Chris Wallace On Democratic Party Opposition To Bernie: ‘I’m Not Sure They Can Stop Him’)
In Sam Donaldson’s 52 years as a reporter, he strived for complete independence. Now, for the first time, the retired correspondent is endorsing a candidate for federal office — Michael Bloomberg. Here’s what he told @andersoncooper pic.twitter.com/tLjKJdAFPo
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 15, 2020
“We are in the grip … of a sick, ignorant man,” Donaldson told Cooper. “He’s mean. He’s corrupt, and if we don’t get this right we may lose the things that have made this country the best place to live in the world and that shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan used to talk about that was the envy of the world.”
The longtime ABC News anchor even shot an ad for the Bloomberg campaign, which posted it to Twitter on Saturday afternoon:
Legendary journalist Sam Donaldson knows Mike has what it takes to take on Trump and beat him. Sam covered campaigns for 52 years, and this is the first time he’s endorsed anyone. Welcome to #TeamBloomberg! pic.twitter.com/R24zUXXxRU
— Team Bloomberg (@Mike2020) February 15, 2020
Sam Donaldson has spent his life covering politics. He’s brought some of our nation’s most important stories to light.
He’s reported on everyone from Goldwater to Bush. And he’s done the American people a great service in doing so.
I am honored to have Sam in my corner. pic.twitter.com/ptj7HtYGxM
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 15, 2020
All of which led to plenty of Saturday Twitter reactions from all sides of the political spectrum. Here’s a sampling:
Never thought I’d see this. https://t.co/MlnARdwCbC
— Brit Hume (@brithume) February 15, 2020
I am really thrown off by seeing Sam Donaldson — my former boss @ABC — doing a political ad. This hurts all working reporters who are trying to prove to the public they aren’t all liberal and biased. https://t.co/bBs6HneALJ
— Emily Miller (@emilymiller) February 15, 2020
https://t.co/LKSyoqR9jG provided Donaldson a written platform to endorse Bloomberg along w/national airtime. Related: Bloomberg News won’t report on anything uncovered about Dem candidates, but will investigate Trump,which is as anti-journalism as it gets: https://t.co/kSmSe0NKj9
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) February 15, 2020
Three thoughts this AM. Sam Donaldson was never down the middle. The President is not king. If your seat can recline, I don’t need to ask for permission.
— Adam Housley (@adamhousley) February 15, 2020
Straight-up Mellonism here. Sam Donaldson says he’d rather have Bloomberg’s money buy the election than Trump’s billionaire backers. https://t.co/NsWRMlwlVy
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) February 15, 2020
Sam Donaldson is one of our betters and we must respect him. pic.twitter.com/tX9eLuhGDF
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) February 15, 2020
Just because Sam Donaldson has never endorsed anyone before doesn’t mean we should listen to his 86 year old ass.
— Sean Kent (@seankent) February 15, 2020
— Tom Borelli (@tomborelli) February 15, 2020