New Yorker vs. New Yorker

Trump, Bloomberg start Twit­ter war

Boston Herald - - NEWS - Hil­lary CHABOT

The high-pro­file trash talk­ing be­tween two Big Ap­ple bil­lion­aires ramped up on Thurs­day as Pres­i­dent Trump tore into for­mer New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — and Bloomberg’s un­blink­ing come­backs have some voters cheer­ing his late 2020 en­trance.

“They’re both New York­ers. I like the fact that Bloomberg can poke Trump and get un­der his skin,” said New Hamp­shire in­de­pen­dent voter Mark Fer­aco, who wasn’t en­tirely sat­is­fied with the ros­ter of Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates avail­able to him in the Feb. 11 pri­mary. “He brings a lot to the table.”

Bloomberg has al­ready spent more than $300 mil­lion in na­tional TV ads, in­clud­ing one $10 mil­lion ad dur­ing the Su­per Bowl, to get voters’ at­ten­tion as he seeks to jump into the pres­i­den­tial race on Su­per Tues­day. The March 3 con­test is rich in del­e­gates with high-pop­u­la­tion states like Cal­i­for­nia and Texas in the mix. The wealthy New Yorker has tapped for­mer Bos­ton Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Ed Davis to head up his Mas­sachusetts cam­paign of­fice, and he’s open­ing a cam­paign of­fice in New Hamp­shire even though the pri­mary has come and gone.

The Bloomberg buzz seemed to get Trump’s at­ten­tion. He kicked off the brawl on Thurs­day morn­ing with a flurry of acid­laced tweets aimed at his fel­low New Yorker’s height and en­ergy.

“Mini Mike Bloomberg is a LOSER who has money but can’t de­bate and has zero pres­ence, you will see,” Trump tweeted.

He quickly sent out an­other: “Mini Mike is a 5’4” mass of dead en­ergy who does not want to be on the de­bate stage with these pro­fes­sional politi­cians.”

Roughly 10 min­utes af­ter Trump’s tweets landed, Bloomberg volleyed back.

“Be­hind your back they laugh at you & call you a car­ni­val bark­ing clown,” Bloomberg wrote. “I have the record & the re­sources to de­feat you. And I will.”

Bloomberg con­tin­ued the in­sults dur­ing a cam­paign stop in Greens­boro, N.C.

“I am not afraid of Don­ald Trump. Don­ald Trump is afraid of us and that’s why he keeps tweet­ing all the time. If he doesn’t men­tion you, you’ve got a big prob­lem,” he said.

Bloomberg’s not the first Trump op­po­nent to try to match the for­mer re­al­ity show host’s fond­ness for crass in­sults. But he seems to be the only one to do so un­apolo­get­i­cally.

Texas Sen. Marco Ru­bio tried to go there in 2016, call­ing out Trump’s “small hands.” But he was clearly un­com­fort­able with the gut­ter ball at­tacks, apol­o­giz­ing for his com­ments only a short while later.

Bloomberg has shown no signs that he has is­sues with sopho­moric trash talk­ing, in­stead seem­ing to ac­cept the ex­change as just an­other way of spar­ring.

“We all know Trump is a bully. But we know how to deal with bul­lies,” Bloomberg said.

A lot of Demo­cratic can­di­dates have made the same ar­gu­ment. Only time will tell if Bloomberg’s New York-style push­back can ac­tu­ally pierce the tough skin of Te­flon Don.

GETTY IM­AGES

HIGH-TECH NAME-CALL­ING: Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Mike Bloomberg, left, and Pres­i­dent Trump en­gaged in a Twit­ter ex­change on Thurs­day, com­plete with name-call­ing and pre­dic­tions about who will win the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

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