2020 elections

Trump on Bloomberg: 'There’s nobody I’d rather run against'

The president also knocks the fellow New Yorker as "Little Michael."

President Donald Trump on Friday welcomed the chance to run against Michael Bloomberg, after news emerged that the billionaire former New York mayor was making preparations to make a late entry into the Democratic primary.

“I've known Michael Bloomberg for a long time,” Trump told reporters of his fellow New Yorker before departing the White House for campaign events in Atlanta. Trump pointed out that the onetime Republican had once “said a lot of great things about Trump. But I know Michael.”

Though Bloomberg has not yet made a final decision to run, the former mayor, who’s curried favor on the left by donating billions to Democratic causes, is preparing to file paperwork to get on the ballot in Alabama, which has an early filing deadline.

Bloomberg, like Trump before he took the plunge in 2015, has long mulled presidential bids but never followed through.

The former mayor did the same this year before announcing in March that he would not run, after former vice president Joe Biden made clear he would enter the race. A longtime Bloomberg aide told POLITICO that Bloomberg is reconsidering his decision not to run because of concerns that the current field of more than a dozen Democrats did not contain a potential nominee capable of beating Trump.

His reconsideration of running has largely been seen as a sign of Biden’s weakness, though an aide cautioned "it's not about any one candidate."

Bloomberg would join a crowded moderate lane in the race led at the moment by Biden and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and could threaten their standing by potentially siphoning off voters.

Trump dismissed the former mayor, whose estimated net worth of more than $50 billion dwarfs his own, as “a nothing” and offered a grim prognosis of Bloomberg’s potential candidacy.

“He is not going to do well. But I think he’s gonna hurt Biden actually,” he said, echoing the commentary of the pundit class over the last 24 hours. “He doesn't have the magic to do well,” he said, predicting that “Little Michael will fail. He’ll spend a lot of money. He has got some really big issues. Got some personal problems. He’s got a lot of other problems.”

That being said, he added: “There’s nobody I’d rather run against than Little Michael.”

Bloomberg faces steep odds in a race that has been going full steam for the better part of the year. It’s next to impossible for him to make the next primary debate stage in a few weeks, and it will be difficult for him to qualify for December’s debate as well.

Should Bloomberg decide to run, he will not be the only ultra wealthy candidate in the race: He would join billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, whose massive spending thus far has drawn mixed reactions from the more populist candidates in the race.

While Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who are both frontrunners and crusaders against the super wealthy, have cheered the opportunity to take on another rich businessman. Andrew Yang, an outsider candidate who’s showed staying power in the race, has said of the Bloomberg news that Steyer’s stagnation in race has shown that when it comes to entering the race so late, “There are limits to what money can do.”