On Friday, President Donald Trump responded to news that billionaire businessman, former New York mayor, and inveterate soda foe Michael Bloomberg is considering entering the 2020 presidential race, presumably as a Democrat. Trump mocked Bloomberg, dubbing him “little Michael.”
“I’ve known Michael Bloomberg for a long time. If you go back early on he said a lot of great things about Trump. But I know Michael — he became just a nothing,” the president told reporters. “He was really a nothing. He’s not gonna do well.”
While the president predicted that Bloomberg would not do well, he did suggest the former New York mayor would hurt former Vice President Joe Biden, the flailing frontrunner and ostensible moderate with whom the Democrat establishment seems to be increasingly disillusioned.
“But I think he’s going to hurt Biden, actually,” Trump said.
Indeed, Barack Obama’s former advisor David Axelrod said as much. “There’s no question that Bloomberg’s calculus was that Biden was occupying a space, and the fact that he’s getting in is a clear indication that he’s not convinced Biden has the wherewithal to carry that torch,” Axelrod told Politico‘s Elena Schneider.
The New York Times‘s Jonathan Martin tweeted, “Goes without saying but: This wouldn’t have happened if Biden is stronger.”
Goes without saying but: This wouldn’t have happened if Biden is stronger >https://t.co/4q7xqjzdW7
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) November 7, 2019
“There is no question that Bloomberg’s willingness to step into this race — or at least make preparations to do so — is rooted, primarily, in Biden’s perceived struggles,” CNN’s Chris Cillizza reported. “A strong Biden would make a Bloomberg candidacy virtually impossible given that the very same establishment types who have undoubtedly been whispering in Bloomberg’s ear were once whispering those same sweet nothings in Biden’s ear.”
Yet Trump consistently predicted failure for Bloomberg.
“He doesn’t have the magic to do well. Little Michael will fail. He’ll spend a lot of money, he’s got some really big issues — he’s got some personal problems and he’s got a lot of other problems,” the president said. “But I know Michael Bloomberg fairly well … He will not do very well and if he did, I’d be happy.”
“There’s nobody I’d rather run against than little Michael. That I can tell you,” Trump concluded.
The former New York mayor tried and failed to tax sugary drinks, to ban the use of food stamps to buy soda, and to limit the size of soda cups to 16 ounces. The personal embodiment of the nanny state will struggle in the Democratic primary and he would also struggle against Trump.
Bloomberg’s mere willingness to consider entering the race just shows how weak the Democratic field is. Democrats have to choose between the gaffetastic Biden, an open “democratic” socialist who wants to raise taxes on the middle class, a woman with essentially the same socialist policies who claims she won’t tax the middle class, and Mayor Pete — a real gamble for the Democratic establishment.
"He will not do very well and if he did I would be happy. There is nobody I rather run against than little Michael."
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 8, 2019
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.