Trump: 'I'd love Bloomberg to come in'

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump says he would relish the competition of a Michael Bloomberg independent 2016 run
  • Bernie Sanders said a matchu-p with Trump and Bloomberg would pit him against 'oligarchy'

(CNN)Donald Trump has a message for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is considering an independent run for president: Bring it on.

"Or Bloomberg comes in which would be great, I'd love to have him come in because I love the competition frankly. I mean it would be great if Bloomberg, I'd love Bloomberg to come in," Trump told an audience at a rally in Muscatine, Iowa, on Sunday.
On Saturday, the New York Times first reported that Bloomberg is eyeing a run -- particularly if Trump is the Republican nominee and Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic contest.
    "Michael has been a friend of mine. I would love to have Michael Bloomberg run. I would love that competition," Trump said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I think I'd do very well against it."
    Sanders, meanwhile, said on ABC's "This Week" that he's "confident that we will win" if he's in a three-way race against Trump and Bloomberg -- in part because both are extraordinarily wealthy.
    "It will tell people what I have been saying for a long time, is that this country is moving away from democracy to oligarchy; that billionaires are the people who are controlling our political life," Sanders said.
    Hillary Clinton said she's doing her best to make sure Bloomberg never senses an opening.
    "Well, the way I read what he said is, if I didn't get the nomination, he might consider it," Clinton said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Well, I'm going to relieve him of that and get the nomination so he doesn't have to."
    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said on "Fox News Sunday" that he's met Bloomberg "a couple of times, don't know him well," and thinks Bloomberg is too supportive of restrictions on Second Amendment rights.
    "As of now, he's just a private citizen who owns a big company. If he decides to become a candidate, we'll engage in a debate at that time," Rubio said.
    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush also cast Bloomberg as too far to the left.
    "We have differing views, and I want to be the conservative candidate to lead the conservative party into the general election," Bush said on CNN's "State of the Union."
    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose state neighbors New York City, wouldn't comment on CNN's "State of the Union" on whether Bloomberg would be a strong candidate.
    "When you're not a candidate, you don't deserve to be evaluated as to whether you'd be a good president or not," Christie said.
    Asked if he was a good mayor, Christie said: "Oh yeah, he was a good mayor. Sure."