WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump revived the moniker of “Crazy Bernie” on Wednesday as he greeted the entry of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, in the 2020 presidential race.
“Crazy Bernie has just entered the race. I wish him well!” Trump said in a morning tweet, using the same nickname he used to deride Sanders when he sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, announced his second White House bid on Tuesday, calling Trump “the most dangerous president in modern American history.”
Later in the day, Trump sized up Sanders’s prospects for reporters in the Oval Office, saying, “Personally, I think he missed his time.”
“It will be interesting to see how he does,” Trump added.
Sanders ran a surprisingly robust primary campaign in 2016, extending the race well beyond what Hillary Clinton’s team had expected.
“I think what happened to Bernie maybe was not so nice,” Trump told reporters. “I think he was taken advantage of. He ran great four years ago, and he was not treated with respect by Clinton.”
In an email to supporters Tuesday, Sanders said he would push some of the same issues in his new run for the White House that animated his 2016 bid, including health care, climate change, student debt and income inequality.
Trump made a habit of using nicknames for his opponents in 2016, including Clinton — whom he dubbed “Crooked Hillary” — and several Republicans.
Trump, for example, regularly referred to GOP primary opponent Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas as “Lyin’ Ted” and former Florida governor Jeb Bush as “low energy.”
As the 2020 race gears up, Trump has continued to refer to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, as “Pocahontas,” a reference to a controversy over her claims of Native American heritage.