Speaking on CBS' Face the Nation, U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he would love for former New York City mayor and fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg to enter the race for the White House. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Sunday (Januaye 24) that he would welcome a third party run from Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City. Speaking on CBS' Face the Nation news program, Trump said he would "love" to compete against Bloomberg. News of Bloomberg mulling a presidential run was first reported Saturday by the New York Times. According to a source familiar with the situation, he has told his aides to draw up plans for an independent campaign for the U.S. presidency. Bloomberg has advised friends and associates that he would be willing to spend at least $1 billion of his own money on a campaign for the November 2016 election, according to the source, who spoke on condition on anonymity to discuss the former mayor's thinking. Bloomberg, 73, has given himself an early March deadline for entering the race, the source said, after commissioning a poll in December to see how he would fare against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Republican and Democratic frontrunners. No third-party candidate has ever won a U.S. presidential election. But Bloomberg, who has close Wall Street ties and liberal social views, sees an opening for his candidacy if Republicans nominate Trump or Texas Senator Ted Cruz and the Democrats nominate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the source said. Bloomberg, who has long privately flirted with the idea of mounting a presidential run, served as mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013. He switched his party affiliation from Republican to independent in 2007 and in recent years has spent millions on national campaigns to tighten U.S. gun laws and reform immigration. One unnamed Bloomberg adviser told the Times the former mayor believes voters want "a non-ideological, bipartisan, results-oriented vision" that has not been offered in the 2016 election cycle by either political party. A well-financed presidential run by Bloomberg would likely disrupt the dynamics of the election, but the billionaire would face significant hurdles in a race that has been in full swing for nearly a year.