Trump, Bloomberg escalate New York billionaire brawl

AP News
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Posted: Jul 29, 2016 4:48 PM
Trump, Bloomberg escalate New York billionaire brawl

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — It's New York billionaire vs. New York billionaire.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump unleashed a wave of Twitter attacks on Michael Bloomberg on Friday, responding to the sharply anti-Trump speech the former New York City mayor delivered this week at the Democratic National Convention.

"If Michael Bloomberg ran again for Mayor of New York, he wouldn't get 10% of the vote - they would run him out of town!" posted Trump. The celebrity businessman then appropriated his old nickname for his former primary rival Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to take another swipe the three-term mayor.

"'Little' Michael Bloomberg, who never had the guts to run for president, knows nothing about me. His last term as Mayor was a disaster!" Trump wrote.

The digital fusillade came just 12 hours after Trump said at campaign rally in Iowa that he wanted to take a swipe at some of the Democratic convention speakers but had been talked out of it. He did not name his intended target, but characterized him as "little." Bloomberg is listed at standing 5'8".

Bloomberg, who was elected mayor of New York in 2001 as a Republican, is now an independent and considered making a third-party run for the White House this year. He opted against the campaign for fear of siphoning votes from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and took the stage in Philadelphia this week to condemn Trump as a "risky, reckless, and radical choice."

"Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's run his business. God help us," Bloomberg said. "Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy."

He also ad-libbed a line calling Clinton a "sane, competent person" and pointedly suggested that Trump was not.

A spokesman for the former mayor, the founder of the financial news and information provider Bloomberg LP, declined to respond directly to Trump's Friday tweetstorm.

But Bloomberg's top political aide, Howard Wolfson, posted a link on Twitter to a 2013 video in which Trump, at a golf course opening, turns to Bloomberg and says "I have to say, you have been a great mayor" and reaches to shake his fellow billionaire's hand. Aides to Bloomberg also gleefully circulated to reporters links to a handful of Trump's previous tweets praising the former mayor.

Bloomberg previously had a cordial relationship with Trump, who he knew from New York's glitzy social circuit and from dealings with him as a developer. But his aides have suggested that the mayor, no stranger to funding candidates and groups for causes he supports, namely gun control, could bankroll some anti-Trump expenditures this fall.

The former mayor's fortune dwarves Trump's. Bloomberg is worth more than $47 billion, according to Forbes magazine while Trump is listed at $4.5 billion. Trump insists his fortune his north of $10 billion.