Bernie Sanders isn’t likely to win the Democratic nomination — but he still might end up debating Donald Trump.
The presumptive Republican nominee said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Wednesday that he would be open to debating the Democratic underdog.
“How much is he going to pay me?” Trump quipped on the show. “If I debated him, we would have such high ratings, and I think I should take that money and give it to some worthy charity.” (Sanders responded shortly after on Twitter, telling Trump, “Game on.”)
But what started as a late-night gag took on a level of seriousness Thursday, when Trump said he would get on a stage with Sanders if they could raise $10 million or more to donate to charity.
The real estate mogul told reporters on Thursday that he would “love” to debate Sanders: “He’s a dream.”
“I said I’d love to debate him, but I want a lot of money to be put up for charity,” Trump told reporters on Thursday. “If we can raise for maybe women’s health issues or something, if we can raise $10 or $15 million for charity, which would be a very appropriate amount. . . I think we’d get very high ratings. It should be in a big arena somewhere, and we can have a lot of fun with it.”
However, Trump also seemed to bemoan Sanders’ chances at actually winning the Democratic nomination.
“The problem with debating Bernie, he’s going to lose, because honestly his system is rigged just like our system is rigged,” Trump said. “You have to knock out, and Bernie unfortunately has not been able to knock out. . . I mean, it’s so unfair.”
Trump also said he “actually had a couple of calls from the networks already” on setting up a debate.
When pushed for an exact amount of how much money would be needed to hold the debate, Trump responded, “I’d say something over $10 million.”
Trump made the comments Thursday during a press conference after he reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination.
Sanders again responded shortly after on Twitter, saying, “Let’s do it in the biggest stadium possible.”
Sanders has virtually no chance at winning the Democratic nomination. A recent analysis by the Globe found he needed 105 percent of remaining pledged delegates to overtake Hillary Clinton — a mathematical impossibility.