Michael Bloomberg is spending a small fortune on his 2020 presidential campaign, and his ads and cutting comments critical of President Trump appear to be rankling the president. On Thursday, Trump lashed out:
- The nickname: "Mini Mike is a 5'4" mass of dead energy who does not want to be on the debate stage with these professional politicians," Trump wrote. (Google lists him at 5-8.) "No boxes please," wrote Trump."
- The response: "(W)e know many of the same people in NY," tweeted Bloomberg on Thursday. "Behind your back they laugh at you & call you a carnival barking clown. They know you inherited a fortune & squandered it with stupid deals and incompetence."
- And more: In Tennessee Wednesday, Bloomberg said Trump's insults can't hurt him and dished out a few of his own, notes Real Clear Politics. "I bill myself as the un-Trump," he said. "He divides people. I try to unite them. He's a climate denier. I'm an engineer. I actually believe in science. ... He looks out for people who inherited their wealth, like him. I'm self-made." Bloomberg also took note of Trump's slams about his height, reports NBC News. "Donald, where I come from, we measure your height from your neck up," he said. "I'm not afraid of Donald Trump."
- Other Trump slam: "Mini Mike Bloomberg is a LOSER who has money but can't debate and has zero presence, you will see," Trump also tweeted, along with a photoshopped image of Bloomberg posted by White House social media director Dan Scavino, notes NBC News. "He reminds me of a tiny version of Jeb 'Low Energy' Bush, but Jeb has more political skill and has treated the Black community much better than Mini!"
- Bloomberg controversy: The former New York City mayor is pushing back after the surfacing of 2015 comments in which he defended the city's controversial "stop and frisk" policy under his watch. Among those 2015 comments, per NPR: "People say, 'Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana who are all minorities.' Yes, that's true. Why? Because we put all the cops in the minority neighborhoods. Yes, that's true. Why'd we do it? Because that's where all the crime is. And the way you should get the guns out of the kids' hands is throw them against the wall and frisk them."
- Changed views: On Wednesday, Bloomberg said, "Those words don't reflect the way that I've governed or the way that I run my company or the way that I live," reports Politico. "I've led the most diverse city in the country, and the public there reelected me, and reelected me two other times, so I think they're pretty happy." Bloomberg said he didn't think the 2015 remarks would hurt him with black voters. "I think we're going to do very well in the African-American community," he said. "They need a good economy, they need better schools, they want health care, they need jobs, and those are the kinds of things that I can bring on."
- The money: NBC News reports that Bloomberg has been spending $1 million a day of late on Facebook ads alone and has easily surpassed Trump ("the reigning king of the social media realm") on that front. The amount is more than triple what Trump's campaign spent per day on Facebook in the 2016 campaign, and it suggests Bloomberg will be "taking eyeballs away from Trump," says an expert in data-driven marketing. That's in part because of how Facebook ads are sold in "real-time auctions."
- The impact: An analysis at the Washington Post notes that Bloomberg has pledged to keep up the anti-Trump spending even if he isn't the nominee, which means "Bloomberg’s money could end up playing some kind of role in blunting" Trump's Facebook messaging straight through to November, writes Greg Sargent.
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