WASHINGTON (AP) – A possible shakeup in the Democratic Presidential race. Former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg may throw his hat into the ring.
Bloomberg has reached out to a senior Iowa Democrat in a sign that he is planning a presidential campaign.
Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack told The Associated Press that Bloomberg telephoned him Thursday evening as reports were emerging that he was weighing a campaign. Bloomberg left a voicemail indicating he plans to run.
Of Bloomberg’s message, Vilsack said: “He is in.”
In a follow-up email, Vilsack told the AP that Bloomberg said in the message that “it was true he is running.”
Bloomberg aides say he has made calls to prominent Democrats but has not made a final decision to run for president.
Vilsack was the U.S. secretary of agriculture under President Barack Obama. Vilsack has been consulted by several of the more than one dozen Democrats campaigning in his state, which holds the leadoff caucuses in fewer than 90 days.
President Donald Trump responded to Bloomberg’s possible run saying “There is nobody” he’d “rather run against.”
President Trump predicted Friday his fellow longtime New Yorker is “not going to do well” but suggested his candidacy would be most damaging to former Vice President Joe Biden, another moderate.
Trump says Bloomberg “doesn’t have the magic to do well” and predicts Bloomberg will fail after spending “a lot of money.”
Biden says he welcomes the possibility of a Democratic presidential campaign from Bloomberg.
Speaking to reporters Friday after filing for the New Hampshire presidential primary Biden said, “Michael’s a solid guy, and let’s see where it goes. I have no problem with him getting in the race.”
Bloomberg initially ruled out a 2020 run and has not made a final decision on whether to jump into the race.
Bloomberg warns the current field of Democratic candidates is ill-equipped to defeat Trump next year.