WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump attacked New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg on Friday, criticizing his refusal to participate in the Democratic presidential debates and claiming that the former mayor's campaign ads are "purposely wrong."
For the second time this week, Trump tweeted about Bloomberg, who's running for the Democratic nomination, in a pair of tweets.
"Mini Mike Bloomberg doesn't get on the Democrat Debate Stage because he doesn't want to — he is a terrible debater and speaker. If he did, he would go down in the polls even more (if that is possible!)."
Trump then claimed in a second tweet that the former New York mayor's ads are inaccurate and are merely "a vanity project for him to get into the game."
Trump made the same accusation earlier in the week on Twitter, saying that "Mini Mike Bloomberg is spending a lot of money on False Advertising" and claiming in light of Bloomberg's health care ads that the president "saved" protections for pre-existing conditions.
Bloomberg then responded to Trump on Twitter, saying, "Glad to see you're watching our ads, @realDonaldTrump. I know management isn't your strong suit, so perhaps you don't know your Justice Department supports a suit that would undermine protections for pre-existing conditions."
While Trump for years has claimed to safeguard those protections, his administration is currently backing a federal lawsuit that would render all of the Affordable Care Act invalid, eliminating those protections if its backers are victorious.
The former mayor has emerged as the biggest anti-Trump spender in the Democratic primary, blanketing the airwaves with messaging hitting the president. In Bloomberg's health care ad, footage of Trump calling Obamacare a "complete and total disaster" and saying it should be allowed to "implode" is played.
Bloomberg, who only launched his presidential campaign in late November, has not participated in the Democratic debates in part because he has decided not to raise money from donors, one of the criteria to qualify for the debates.
The former mayor, who is ranked by Forbes as the eighth richest American with a fortune in excess of $53 billion, recently did not rule out spending $1 billion on the 2020 presidential race even if he doesn't win the nomination.