Speaking with reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday, President Donald Trump revealed that he’s decided who he’d rather face down this November — and it’s not Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“Frankly, I’d rather run against [former New York Mayor Mike] Bloomberg than Bernie Sanders,” the president said, according to Breitbart. “Because Sanders has real followers, whether you like them or not, whether you agree with them or not — I happen to think it’s terrible, what he says.”
“He’s a lightweight”
The chance to provide comment on the Democratic primary race arose when Trump was asked about recently resurfaced audio from several years ago of Bloomberg speaking bluntly about the controversial “stop and frisk” policy in New York and policing in minority neighborhoods.
Despite Bloomberg long being a champion of the “stop and frisk” policy and its impact on lowering crime rates in the Big Apple, the ex-mayor has since apologized for the tactic on the campaign trail — apologies that President Trump dismissed as “disingenuous” and “pathetic.”
“Look, he’s a lightweight. He’s a lightweight. You’re going to find that out,” Trump said of Bloomberg, according to a transcript provided by the White House. “He’s also one of the worst debaters I’ve ever seen, and his presence is zero.”
Trump went on to say that Bloomberg is likely to spend hundreds of millions of dollars — and enjoy the aid of the Democratic National Committee — in his fight against Sanders, the Dems’ clear frontrunner after Tuesday’s primaries in New Hampshire. Still, the president conceded, he’d rather run against Bloomberg than the democratic-socialist.
“[Sanders] he has followers. Bloomberg’s just buying his way in,” Trump said. “But we’re going to find out what happens. We’re going to find out.”
TRUMP on @MikeBloomberg:
“He’s a lightweight, you’re going to find that out. He’s also one of the worse debaters I’ve ever seen.
Frankly, I’d rather run against Bloomberg than Bernie Sanders.” pic.twitter.com/ozu1r0dPq2
— Zach Purser Brown (@zachjourno) February 11, 2020
“A very interesting election”
From the sound of those remarks, it seems that Trump has decided he’d fare better in the general election against Bloomberg and his expendable wealth than Sanders and his devoted following of (largely young) supporters — and it seems the president feels much the same about Biden. Asked what he thinks of the former vice president’s campaign, the president told reporters that it’s “stumbling” and “mumbling.”
“Not pretty. But we’ll see how he does. You never know,” Trump said. “The only time you knew for sure was the Trump campaign [in 2016]. Trump was going to win.”
Will he live up to that prophecy again in 2020? Looking ahead, the president said “it’s going to be very interesting.”
“I think we have — we’re going to have a very interesting Democrat race and I think we’re going to have a very interesting election,” Trump said. “But our country is doing better than it’s ever done. We’ve rebuilt our military. Thanks to the people back here, we’ve taken care of our vets at a level that they’ve never been taken care of before… And it’s really something that we’re very proud of.”