Donald Trump said Tuesday he'd "love to see" fellow New Yorker Michael Bloomberg launch an independent run for president, taking a more-the-merrier approach to the former Big Apple mayor potentially getting in the race.
Trump weighed in after Bloomberg publicly confirmed he was considering a run.
“I would love to see it,” Trump told Fox News on Tuesday, as New Hampshire voters went to the polls in the much-anticipated Republican primary. “I love competing against Michael Bloomberg. He’s a friend, I hope he gets in.”
He added: “I would love to see it to be honest with you, and I would win.”
Bloomberg, 73, a billionaire media mogul who tops Trump in personal wealth, confirmed for the first time in an interview with the Financial Times that he may throw his hat into the scrum of an already crowded presidential race.
When asked about Bloomberg’s reported willingness to spend a billion dollars on an independent bid, Trump said, “I can match it if I want to match it.”
As an independent, Bloomberg would be able to avoid the brutal primary contests that decide the nominees for the two major parties. And as a billionaire with an estimated $38 billion to his name, he would be able to self-fund to avoid the challenges of fundraising as a latecomer candidate.
He would have to get on the ballot in each of the 50 states, a process done through a rigorous series of petitions, with each state using different rules.
Considered a moderate on the political spectrum, Bloomberg became an independent after a six-year stint as a Republican from 2001 to 2007. Before that, he was a registered Democrat. Pro-business but progressive on social issues, Bloomberg says he wants to speak to disenchanted voters who don’t like what they see evolving on the campaign stage today.
“I find the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters,” he told the Financial Times.
Political experts think that Democrats may have the most to lose if Bloomberg should decide to run, especially if Bernie Sanders, a Democratic socialist on the left, beats Hillary Clinton for the nomination. The thought might have occurred to Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz as she was asked about the former mayor in a recent CNN interview:
"I think Michael Bloomberg’s agenda is well cared-for and advanced among our Democratic candidates," she said. "And his candidacy, I think he will find, won’t be necessary.”