US President Donald Trump has taunted former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg amid reports that he is ready to jump into the White House race.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Trump said of the billionaire businessman: “There is nobody I’d rather run against than little Michael.”
Mr Bloomberg is expected to file paperwork for the presidential primary in Alabama on Friday.
But advisers say he has not yet made his final decision.
The 77-year-old had said only in March this year that he would not run for president, reportedly because of the perceived dominance of Democratic front-runner Joe Biden.
But he is understood to have recently voiced scepticism that any of the current Democratic field could beat Mr Trump in the election a year from now.
On Friday, Mr Trump said Mr Bloomberg “doesn’t have the magic” to make it to the White House.
He continued: “He’s not going to do well, but I think he’s going to hurt Biden actually.”
Mr Bloomberg has twice before considered running for the White House as an independent candidate, in 2008 and 2016.
What did Bloomberg’s aide say?
In a statement, Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said: “We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated.
“But Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that.”
Mr Bloomberg is said to be fully aware such a belated entry to the race could present challenges in states like Iowa and New Hampshire, where other Democratic contenders have been campaigning for months.
The Bloomberg team is reportedly planning to focus on the so-called Super Tuesday contests in March, when 14 states, including California, Alabama and Colorado, will vote on a single day for their preferred White House nominee.
His renewed flirtation with a White House run comes just months after he ruled it out.
In an op-ed back in March for his Bloomberg News, he wrote: “I believe I would defeat Donald Trump in a general election.
“But I am clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field.”