Bernie Sanders said Sunday that "there would be nothing more in this world that I would like" than to face Donald Trump in a general election fight, and that he would "beat him badly."
"I would very much look forward to a race against Donald Trump, a guy who does not want to raise the minimum wage, but wants to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top two-tenths of 1% who thinks wages in America are too high and who thinks that climate change is a hoax, invented by the Chinese," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"Chuck, there would be nothing more in this world that I would like than to take on Donald Trump. We would beat him, and we would beat him badly."
His comments come as polls have shown him narrowing Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton's lead in Iowa and opening up his own lead in New Hampshire. While the former Secretary of State still holds a significant advantage over the Vermont Senator in national polling, the tightening race in the two early voting states have some political observers questioning whether Clinton is the inevitable Democratic Party nominee, as most have long expected.
But that has many Democrats fretting over Sanders' general election prospects, and he has yet to earn the endorsement of any sitting senators or governors. Sanders brushed off his lack of support as evidence of the establishment versus grassroots dynamic of the primary.
"[That lack of support] tells me that we are taking on the political establishment, we're taking on the economic establishment, the financial interest in this country, and we're taking on the corporate establishment," he said.
And he was equally defiant in the face of recent reports that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg could launch an independent bid for president if Sanders and Trump win their respective parties' nominations.
"If Donald Trump wins and Mr. Bloomberg gets in, you're going to have two multi-billionaires running for president of the United States against me. And I think the American people do not want to see our nation move toward an oligarchy where billionaires control the political process," he said.
"I think we'll win that election."