- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 25, 2020

President Trump has privately shown a fondness for potential Democratic challenger Michael Bloomberg, radio host Howard Stern claimed Monday.

Discussing the current White House race on his SiriusXM radio program, Mr. Stern described himself as a “huge” fan of the former New York City mayor and proclaimed the president to be one as well.

“I’ve talked to Donald a million times privately about Bloomberg. We both agree that he was one of the best f—-ing mayors on the planet,” Mr. Stern said during his show.

“Donald loves Bloomberg,” Mr. Stern added. “That’s why he doesn’t want him running. He knows how strong the guy is. He loves him. We all love him. Donald even would say, ‘He’s better than I am.’”

Mr. Stern also cast doubt on Sen. Bernard Sanders, the current front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, being able to defeat Mr. Trump in a head-to-head contest.

“I don’t believe whatever Bernie’s calling himself, a social Democrat, can win. I do not believe he will win the general election,” Mr. Stern said.

“It’s just weird to me,” Mr. Stern said about Democrats. “I don’t know what’s going on, but I’ll tell you what: If their main objective is to get Trump out of the White House, I think they’re blowing it.”

The host of the “Howard Stern Show” made the comments on the eve of Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Sanders, Vermont independent and self-described democratic socialist, participating in Tuesday’s ninth Democratic primary debate alongside fellow White House hopefuls including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and businessman Tom Steyer.

Mr. Stern, 66, said during the broadcast that he favors Democrats picking either Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg or Ms. Klobuchar to compete against Mr. Trump in November.

Mr. Stern, a native New Yorker like Mr. Trump, argued that even the president would be inclined to cast a ballot for Mr. Bloomberg if the city’s former mayor receives the Democratic nomination.

“I’m telling you, people who are for Trump would vote for Bloomberg,” said Mr. Stern. “Trump will vote for Bloomberg! I’m not joking.”

Mr. Trump appeared on Mr. Stern’s radio program dozens of times before running for the White House, and the future president attended the shock jock’s wedding in 2008.

Mr. Stern declined to endorse Mr. Trump during his presidential campaign and instead supported former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, however.

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