Former Vice President Joe Biden slammed President Trump during remarks in South Carolina on Saturday night, referring to the president as a “clown” who is allowing “Jim Crow” racism to return to the United States.
“There are so many nicknames that I’m inclined to give this guy,” the 2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner said. “We could just start with clown.”
“When he says these ridiculous things he says, I mean this, I put my hand up and say, ‘everybody knows who you are ‘because they do know,” Biden declared in a room of about three dozen supporters.
He blasted the president after he was asked by one of his supporters whether he would return Trump’s insults. Biden claimed the president tries to deter attention away from the issues by mocking his political rivals.
“On every single issue and on every demeaning thing he says about other people, I have no problem responding directly,” he said. “What I’m not going to do is get into what he wants me to do. He wants this to be mud wrestling match.”
The former vice president took a page from Trump’s playbook, who during his 2016 presidential run famously branded his opponents with nicknames like “Low Energy” Jeb Bush, “Lyin” Ted Cruz and “Crooked” Hillary Clinton. Trump began referring to Biden as “Sleepy Joe,” after he launched his bid in late April.
Trump’s behavior on social media – his attacks on the media’s reporting of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election meddling and accusations of the media being an arm of the Democratic Party are worrying fellow world leaders, Biden argued.
“At least 14 world leaders” have called him during Trump’s tenure to express dismay, Biden said, while British Prime Minister Theresa May asked him for reassurance that the U.S. and the United Kingdom “still have a special relationship.”
He then claimed Trump “is about to squander alliances” built over generations, noting that he has “spent my entire adult life” in global relations as a senator for 36 years and then as President Barack Obama’s vice president for eight years.
Earlier Saturday, Biden kicked off a rally accusing Trump and the GOP of “sneaking back in” Jim Crow by advocating for voter identifications laws. Biden likened measures requiring minorities to show ID to vote to racial segregation and the era before the civil rights movement.
“Folks, last year, 24 states introduced or enacted at least 70 bills to curtail the right the vote. And guess what, mostly directed at ‘people of color.’ You see it. We have Jim Crow sneaking back in. No, I mean it.” he said. “You know what happens when you have an equal right to vote? They lose.”
Biden is riding high on the Democratic presidential primary polls in the first few days following his formal declaration of candidacy.
Despite backlash for growing allegations of inappropriately touching women, Barack Obama’s former number two, is a clear number one in the Democratic presidential field and rising, holding a 30 point leader over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey. Forty-four percent of Democratic voters said they are most likely to vote for Biden in the 2020 primaries. Socialist Sanders comes in second place at 14 percent.
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