Start spreading the news: Donald Trump plans to welcome fellow New Yorker Michael Bloomberg into the presidential contest with open arms, should he decide to run.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Trump said, “I would love to see Michael Bloomberg run.” His statement comes following reports over the weekend that the billionaire former mayor of New York City is considering a bid should Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, win the Republican nomination and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., win the Democratic nomination.
Trump assured his supporters he would be up to the challenge should Bloomberg decide to throw his hat in:
I would love to have Michael Bloomberg run. I would love that competition. I think I’d do very well against it.
How would their personal relationship hold up? “Michael has been a friend of mine over the years. I don’t know if we’re friends anymore, frankly. But Michael has been a friend of mine.”
Trump also responded to former GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s call for all candidates to release their tax returns before early voting starts. Trump said his team is “working on that now.” “I have very big returns…and I have everything all approved and very beautiful and we’ll be working on that over in the next period of time,” he continued.
However, Trump conceded, “I try and pay as little tax as possible, because I hate what they do with my tax money. I hate the way they spend our money.”
Trump also escalated the war of words between himself and chief rival, Ted Cruz. While continuing to question the Canadian-born Cruz’s eligibility to run for president, Trump made his attack even more personal. “The biggest problem he has, he’s a nasty guy and nobody likes him. Not one Republican senator. He works with them every day. Not one Republican senator has endorsed Ted Cruz…that’s actually impossible to even believe,” Trump said.
Finally, in response to criticism that a “new conservative” shouldn’t be the one to lead the conservative movement, Trump compared his evolution to Ronald Reagan’s, “He was a somewhat liberal Democrat, and over the years, he evolved and he became fairly conservative…he became a great president also. And I’ve evolved, and a lot of people have evolved.”
But the front-runner didn’t miss the chance to take another swing at Cruz, “A lot of people change positions on things over years. And by the way, Ted Cruz has changed his position. He was very weak on illegal immigration…and now, all of a sudden, because of my stance, he got strong.
This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.