President Donald Trump and former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg tangled on Twitter on Thursday with some especially petty insults, with Trump calling "Mini Mike" a "mass of dead energy," and his potential Democratic presidential rival hitting back with "carnival barking clown."
The dig at Bloomberg's height and more was typical for Trump, known for name-calling on his favorite social media platform.
"Mini Mike is a 5'4" mass of dead energy who does not want to be on the debate stage with these professional politicians," Trump wrote early in the morning, understating Bloomberg's reported height by four inches. "No boxes please. He hates Crazy Bernie and will, with enough money, possibly stop him. Bernie's people will go nuts!"
By midday, Bloomberg had shot back questioning the wealth Trump touts as a sign of his business acumen - and highlighting the personal fortune Bloomberg can put to use against him. The 2020 latecomer has already spent millions on TV ads attacking the president.
"We know many of the same people in NY," the former mayor wrote, addressing Trump. "Behind your back they laugh at you & call you a carnival barking clown. They know you inherited a fortune & squandered it with stupid deals and incompetence."
"I have the record & the resources to defeat you," he added. "And I will."
The exchange between two septuagenarians got plenty of laughs on late-night TV: "A rap battle was on CNBC," comedian Trevor Noah declared. Here are hosts' reactions.
- "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah"
"This is crazy. Two mega-rich dudes dissing each other in the most personal way. It would be like if a rap battle was on CNBC."
"And the sad part, the sad part for me is that billionaire feuds used to be so much more dignified, you know? Yeah, back in the day, it wasn't on Twitter. They'd be like, 'Mr. Trump, I have commissioned a devastating opera that disparages both you and your lineage.' It'd be like, 'Well, Master Bloomberg, at this very moment, a team of artisans is sculpting a middle finger from the world's finest Italian marble. In eight to nine months, you will be truly owned.' "
- "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
"It would appear Mike Bloomberg has managed to get under the president's Trumplestiltskin ... Now that is going to make him mad."
"But I will say this. If I was Mike Bloomberg and I had $61 billion - which is what he has - this is how I would get in Trump's head: I'd buy every ad on Fox News from now until November. I would ruin his precious Hannity time, his 'Fox and Friends' in the morning. Maybe instead of an election we should just put these two old billionaires on a jungle island with sharp sticks and force them to hunt each other, you know? Put it on pay-per-view, all proceeds go to the homeless. It's a good idea."
- "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallow"
"Trump spent the morning attacking Mike Bloomberg on Twitter and called him 'a mass of dead energy.' When he heard that, Mike Pence was like, 'Hey, that's my nickname!' "
"In response, Bloomberg tweeted at Trump and said, 'Behind your back people are laughing at you.' Trump called it fake news and spent the next hour trying to look behind his own back."
- "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert"
"Now, Bloomberg has been rising in the polls. There could be some hurdles for his campaign. In the past, he's been accused in several lawsuits of creating an uncomfortable workplace environment for women, but he won't release women who sued him from their nondisclosure agreements. Oh, good - yet another New York billionaire with a questionable history with women. Next we're going to find out about his sons, Merrick and Bloom Jr."
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The Washington Post's John Wagner contributed to this report.