On Friday morning, Trump claimed on Twitter that Bloomberg does not want to be on the debate stage because “he is a terrible debater,” and said it would hurt his support.
“Mini Mike Bloomberg doesn’t get on the Democrat Debate Stage because he doesn’t want to – he is a terrible debater and speaker. If he did, he would go down in the polls even more (if that is possible!).”
Mini Mike Bloomberg doesn’t get on the Democrat Debate Stage because he doesn’t want to – he is a terrible debater and speaker. If he did, he would go down in the polls even more (if that is possible!).— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020
Mini Mike Bloomberg ads are purposely wrong – A vanity project for him to get into the game. Nobody in many years has done for the USA what I have done for the USA, including the greatest economy in history, rebuilding our military, biggest ever tax & regulation cuts, & 2nd A!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020
Bloomberg responded to Trump’s attack, noting that he does not qualify for the debates because he self funds his campaign
Along with polling requirements, the Democratic National Committee has specific fundraising criteria candidates must meet to qualify for the debates.
Bloomberg also managed to slip in a slight against Trump, “I’ve never taken a penny in contributions from anyone. Not even a ‘very small loan’ of a million dollars.”
I want to debate, but I don't qualify because I've never taken a penny in contributions from anyone.— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) January 17, 2020
Not even a "very small loan" of a million dollars. https://t.co/Nu3dG51650
Trump’s tweet comes as it appears Bloomberg’s campaign is gaining some traction.
A recent poll also found that Bloomberg is one of the Democratic candidates who would fair the best against Trump in Michigan, beating him 47% to 41%. Former Vice President Joe Biden did slightly better, beating Trump 50% to 43%.
Since he began his campaign, he has dropped $217 million of his fortune on television and digital advertising mostly in states that hold primaries on Super Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.
And it appears his strategy may be paying off, though it is still too early to tell how much all that advertising will help or if he will be able to make up lost ground from his late entrance.
Bloomberg joined the race in November and has been outpolling several candidates who had been campaigning for months before his entrance.