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Trump Says He Would Rather Run Against Bloomberg Because Sanders 'Has Real Followers'

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As former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has struggled in the first two Democratic primaries, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s (D) presidential campaign appears to be gaining steam. 

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday, President Donald Trump took a shot at Bloomberg, calling him a “lightweight” and “one of the worst debaters.”

“He’s a lightweight, you’re going to find that out. He’s also one of the worse debaters I’ve ever seen,” Trump said, adding, “And his presence is zero.”

Additionally, Trump said he would rather run against Bloomberg than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) because the Vermont senator “has real followers.”

“Frankly, I’d rather run against Bloomberg than Bernie Sanders because Sanders has real followers — whether you like him or not, whether you agree with him or not. I happen to think it’s terrible what he says. But he has followers, Bloomberg’s just buying his way in.”

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Trump has previously suggested that Bloomberg has intentionally skipped the Democratic debates because of his debating skills.

However, Bloomberg has been self-funding his campaign and therefore failed to meet past fundraising requirements from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to get into the debates. 

But now it’s possible that Bloomberg could qualify for future Democratic debates as the DNC recently changed its requirements to get on the debate stage.

Candidates must now either receive at least one delegate from Iowa or New Hampshire or meet polling requirements. While Bloomberg didn’t compete in either of those states, it’s possible that he would meet the polling requirements for future debates.

Andrew Cullen/Reuters

While Sanders appears to be the front-runner for the Democratic nomination as Biden has failed to secure a top spot in the first two primary contests, some Democrats have begun to look to Bloomberg.

Recent national polls have put Bloomberg in third-place behind Biden, and state polls have found Bloomberg to be one of the candidates best positioned to defeat Trump in the general election.

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However, it’s yet to be seen if his unconventional approach to the campaign will result in actual votes in the primaries. Bloomberg has focused most of his time and money in states that hold primary contests on Super Tuesday — skipping Iowa and New Hampshire altogether.

Regardless, it seems that Bloomberg’s candidacy has tried to get under Trump’s skin — as most of Bloomberg’s ads and attacks are focused on him.

In recent weeks, Trump has dubbed Bloomberg “Mini Mike” and attacked his height and debating skills on Twitter.

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