“I like Mike Bloomberg. I know him, I think he would be an amazing president. He was an amazing mayor,” Tom Barrack told CNBC on Monday. “He’s run a first-class business, he’s smart, he’s thoughtful, he’s considerate, he’s done it all before, and he doesn’t need anything.”
Barrack, who also said that Trump “has done a great job,” highlighted Bloomberg’s ability to self-fund his campaign — the Democratic candidate already has spent more than $200 million of his vast fortune — as reason to take his candidacy seriously.
“Nobody should count him out of the race. Strong, thoughtful, considerate, powerful, experienced — a long shot for sure in Democratic circles, but as the other candidates start to winnow out, you never can tell what happens,” he told CNBC.
Barrack, who also called former Vice President Joe Biden a “class act” and “a super man,” signaled that he thinks Trump’s reelection outlook is far from certain, positing that “anything could happen” in the months ahead.
“I’m not a politician and I don’t want to go over my skis even thinking about it, but anything could happen,” Barrack told CNBC. “It’s a very diverse group. I think every week is a new life for both Democrats and Republicans. The President had a very good week last week, the Democrats didn’t have such a good week.”
“But it’s a long road. So as everybody gets into their swim lanes, it could be a horse race at the end of the day.”
Barrack’s praise of Bloomberg is especially notable given his long relationship with Trump, whose presidency has been defined by a demand for complete loyalty from those in his orbit.
And the President has centered much of his Democratic Party criticism on the former New York mayor in recent weeks.
Trump took a swipe at Bloomberg’s height in a Fox News interview earlier this month, calling him “very little,” and claiming that the Democrat would use a “box for the debates to stand on,” though there is no evidence for that.
Bloomberg’s campaign responded, saying there is “no basis for this.”
“The President is lying,” campaign spokesperson Julie Wood said in a statement that also mocked the President’s weight and appearance.
Barrack’s comments also come as Bloomberg attempts to chart his own path among a crowded Democratic primary field, putting his focus — and his personal wealth — toward multiple states that will vote in the Super Tuesday contest in March.