WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump told a Colorado rally crowd Thursday that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., looked likely to be the Democratic presidential nominee.
"It looks like Bernie, doesn't it? It looks like Crazy Bernie," he said in Colorado Springs.
The assessment came a day after the president, who has looked to feed the resentment of Sanders voters against the Democratic Party, predicted at a campaign rally in Phoenix that the Democratic National Committee was "going to take it away from Bernie again."
Trump, who weighed in on each of the Democratic candidates with largely familiar attacks Thursday, said former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's debate performance Wednesday night would cost him support — and for the first time, he weighed in on Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., saying as he made choking motions that she had "choked" at the debate.
"Mini Mike did not do well last night. He went way down. It's all right, Mini Mike," Trump said. "How about Klobuchar? Did you see her? She choked. She choked. She couldn't breathe."
Klobuchar shot back from the campaign trail in Aurora, Colorado, saying she considered it "a badge of honor that the president is finally noticing that I'm running against him."
Trump went on a freewheeling riff at the rally, bouncing from topic to topic, including criticism of the decision to award the Academy Award for best picture to the South Korean film "Parasite," of Time magazine's decision to name a "person of the year" rather than a "man of the year" and, in a familiar attack, of windmills.
The president expressed confidence in his campaign odds. At one point, Trump had his social media director, Dan Scavino, bring up his poll numbers from the 2016 Republican primary. He read the papers and then threw them offstage.
Trump took the stage in Colorado as Democrats held events across the state ahead of its March 3 primary, the latest in his campaign counterprograming series.
The president has been crisscrossing the country following his Democratic rivals, holding rallies during their debates in January and February, as well as days before voters went to the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. He will hold another rally in Nevada on Friday, the day before the state's caucuses.
The president faces tough odds in Colorado, which he lost to Hillary Clinton by 5 percentage points in 2016. Attitudes toward him in the state haven't improved since then; he currently holds a 43 percent approval rating, according to polling by Morning Consult. Democrats have won Colorado in the last three presidential elections.
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Trump's visit to Colorado was also aimed at boosting Sen. Cory Gardner, a former critic who stood by the president during his impeachment — voting against witnesses and in favor of acquittal in the Senate trial — a stance that could hurt his re-election bid this year in the blue-leaning state.
"You're going to help us get Cory Gardner across that finish line, because he has been with us 100 percent," Trump told the crowd shortly after taking the stage. "There was no wavering with Cory."
Amanda Golden reported from Aurora, Colorado