Trump Jr. Says He'd Rather Run Against Bloomberg Than Sanders as the Billionaire Has 'Never Been Around a Real Person'

Donald Trump Jr. said he would rather go "six months one-on-one" with Mike Bloomberg than Bernie Sanders, and claimed the former New York City mayor had "never been around a real person."

The president's eldest son told Charlie Kirk, a contributor to Newsweek's "The Debate" platform, that the Bloomberg 2020 primary campaign was a "case study" of whether the presidency could be bought, and suggested the billionaire did not have a "real following."

In a podcast provided ahead of release, Trump Jr. also said he believed the Democratic National Committee would "screw" Sen. Sanders out of the the party's nomination, and claimed it would be to his father's benefit if it used its "infinite wisdom" to pick a presidential candidate.

Speaking about Bloomberg on The Charlie Kirk Show, Trump Jr. said: "Stop-and-frisk has been the controversy of the week, and honestly I almost don't even care what your opinion is on the policy, but the way that he spoke about minorities in those communities, you could hear he doesn't think of them as human."

Moving on to Bloomberg's surging Democratic primary campaign for the 2020 nomination, the president's eldest son said: "It is literally a case study to see if you can spend enough money to buy and manipulate the American people.

"Because he can't do it with his own personality. That's the one thing he can't buy is personality, but he can try and create one online by paying people a lot of money."

Donald Trump Jr at NH Rally
Donald Trump Jr. tosses hats into the crowd during a rally at Southern New Hampshire University Arena on February 10, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The New York Times revealed last Thursday that the Bloomberg campaign was paying social media influencers to run memes about the billionaire in an effort to lift his image. The memes consisted of fake direct messages from the former mayor.

"Bernie, whether you agree with the policies or not, he actually has a real following," Trump Jr. told The Charlie Kirk Show. "He has people that actually believe in him. And I think that means more than the money."

"I would actually take a real following as opposed to a bought following any day," he later added.

Speaking about Sanders' chances in the primary, Trump Jr. suggested the Democratic party would "do whatever they can to screw Bernie" out of the nomination.

"I just don't think they're going to let Bernie have it, and the last time they gave us a candidate who had no real following but whose turn it was, or had no real following but had a lot of money, it worked out great for us," he said.

"I really want the DNC to use their infinite wisdom to help pick a candidate for an electorate they're clearly out of touch with, because every time they do it seems to work to our benefit."

After saying he did not want to take the Vermont senator lightly, Trump Jr. said: "All things being equal, would I rather run against Bernie or Bloomberg right now? I sort of want six months one-on-one with Bloomberg as his policies start coming out… as you start going back to his history."

Newsweek has contacted the Bloomberg campaign for comment, and will update this story with any response.

In a statement, DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said: "These allegations are false, and an attempt to distract from the terrible policies coming from this administration, as well as an attempt to divide our party. The DNC will continue to remain neutral and do everything we can to build an infrastructure for the general election in order to beat Trump."

Trump Jr.'s comments about the former New York City mayor came as the late primary entrant enjoyed a surge in the polls.

Heading toward the Super Tuesday primary races slated for March 3, Bloomberg is third place in the Real Clear Politics average of national Democratic primary polling, having overtaken former frontrunner Elizabeth Warren and ex-South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

The FiveThirtyEight primary forecast gives the billionaire a one in seven chance of winning a plurality of pledged delegates, putting him some way behind Sen. Sanders, who has forecast odds of one in two.

A poll published by Quinnipiac University on February 10 found Bloomberg had the biggest numerical lead over President Donald Trump in head-to-head polling, with 51 percent favoring the billionaire while 42 percent backed the commander-in-chief.

Update 02/18/20 03:46 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with a statement from the DNC communications director.

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