Joe Biden calls Trump a 'clown' during fundraiser, says he expects a nasty race from the president
Joe Biden took inspiration from his 2020 opponent Donald Trump when asked at a South Carolina fundraiser Saturday if he had a nickname for the president.
While the 2020 Democratic frontrunner said he didn't want to mudwrestle with Trump, he said if he had to choose a nickname it would be a "clown", Fox News reports.
“There’s so many nicknames I’m inclined to give this guy,” Biden said, per Politico. “You can just start with clown.”
Trump famously began assigning monikers for his presidential opponents during the 2016 race, including “Crooked” Hillary Clinton, “Lyin” Ted Cruz and “Low Energy” Jeb Bush. Fast forward to 2019, the White House occupant has labeled Biden as "Sleepy Joe" after he declared his candidacy in April.
Biden was at a private fundraiser on Saturday when he claimed Trump's nicknames were a ploy to keep discussions away from real issues.
“On every single issue and on every demeaning thing he says about other people, I have no problem responding directly,” Biden said. “What I’m not going to do is get into what he wants me to do. He wants this to be a mud wrestling match.”
He kept up that theme at a private evening fundraiser, telling several dozen donors that he expects a nasty race from President Trump. “This guy is going to go after me and family,” Biden said, recalling his grandchildren telling him before his announcement that they expect Trump and others to bring up family details including his son Hunter Biden’s divorce.
“The only place he has any confidence is in the mud,” Biden said because the president “doesn’t understand how to respond to issues.”
According to AP, Biden said he will answer Trump “directly” in the future without name-calling. He recalled saying in 2016 that in high school he’d have “taken him behind the barn and beat the hell out of” Trump. “Guess what? I probably shouldn’t have done that,” Biden said. “The presidency is an office that requires dignity and reestablishing respect and standing.”
The commander-in-chief recently began blasting various media figures for reporting on the Mueller report and social media companies for partnering with the Democratic Party.
According to Biden, Trump's behavior has worried fellow world leaders and that "at least 14 world leaders" have called him during Trump's tenure to express their disapproval. He also claimed British Prime Minister Theresa May needed reassurance from him that the US and the United Kingdom "still have a special relationship."
Biden said after he spent his entire adult life in foreign affairs, he knows the US under Trump "is about to squander alliances" built over generations.
The former vice president recently lambasted Trump and other Republicans for wanting stricter voter identification laws, saying Jim Crow is "sneaking back in.”
Biden said the push towards more stringent voting rules, including curtailing early voting hours and identification requirements, was reminiscent of racial segregation laws of the past.
"You've got Jim Crow sneaking back in," he said. "You know what happens when you have an equal right to vote? They lose."
During the rally, Biden focused on the need to restore decency to the White House. "Your state motto is, 'While I breathe, I hope,'" he said, after criticizing the president. "It's not a joke. We're breathing, but God, we have got to have hope."
Biden has opened his latest run for president with direct appeals to white, working-class voters across the Midwest. He will continue his current trip by visiting the Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia on Sunday.