What to Know
- President Trump and former NYC Mayor Bloomberg took hard jabs at each other on Twitter Thursday morning
- Trump called Bloomberg a "mass of dead energy" and Bloomberg said people call Trump a "carnival barking clown" behind his back
- The former mayor has the biggest lead versus the president of any potential challenger, one poll this week found
Even by the standards of modern presidential politics, President Donald Trump and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg set a new mark for public nastiness on Thursday.
Throwing around phrases like "mass of dead energy" and "carnival barking clown," the president and the ex-mayor squared off on Twitter early Thursday as Bloomberg aggressively pushes a bid to challenge Trump in this November's election.
The latest opening salvo from the president:
And the former mayor's retort:
In 30 minutes Trump's tweet racked up more than 22,000 likes; Bloomberg's was good for more than 4,000 in about 15 minutes.
Bloomberg was not on the ballot in either Iowa or New Hampshire, but is counting on an unprecedented level of ad and staff spending in the hundreds of millions of dollars to compete come Super Tuesday next month.
A Quinnipiac Poll released Monday had Bloomberg beating Trump by 9 percentage points in a hypothetical general election match-up -- the biggest lead of the six Democratic contenders in the race.
Bloomberg has apologized for his police department's controversial policing practice that disproportionally affected minorities, though he has not apologized specifically over 2015 remarks where he advocated putting "a lot of cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods."
Trump and his allies have tried to tag Bloomberg as racist over the issue while ignoring that Trump has a history of public comments in support of the practice. Trump deleted a tweet earlier this week that had called Bloomberg a "total racist" over the issue.