President Donald Trump and former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden both held events in Iowa on Tuesday, after weeks of dealing blows to each other.
Prior to the event, Biden called President Trump an “existential threat” to the United States, the first in the series of attacks Biden launched on Tuesday. Trump did not fall behind, responding shortly after.
“His whole campaign is to hit Trump. When a man has to mention my name 76 times in a speech, that means he’s in trouble,” the President noted, before deeming Biden “mentally weak” and calling him a “dummy.”
Trump then said he liked “running against people that are weak mentally.”
Trump’s advisers have long warned him against attacking Biden, which seems to only increase support for the Democratic candidate and establish further his status as front-runner in a crowded Democratic primary, CNN writes.
The two men won’t come face-to-face, or even close to each other, but that has not stopped them from bashing each other constantly.
Earlier in the day, Biden’s campaign released his prepared remarks for later on Tuesday, which include a number of attacks on Trump.
The Biden campaign has been criticized on several matters lately, including the candidate’s stance on abortion rights, which he later reversed, his campaign’s climate change plan and the fact that Biden missed the largest gathering of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to attend his granddaughter’s graduation.
“We didn’t know Joe Biden was back from his hiatus. Has Alyssa Milano been consulted?” said Trump campaign spokesman, Tim Murtaugh, referring to the actress who has long been a Biden supporter.
However, despite Trump’s public appearance of confidence, those close to him say the President fears Biden as an opponent, more so than any other Democratic candidate, which is why he has launched a slew of attacks ever since the former vice president announced his candidacy.
Most recently, Trump lambasted Biden after polls showed the Democrat was ahead of Trump in states like Michigan, crucial to his re-election victory. Biden’s Tuesday speech aims at portraying Trump’s tariffs as damaging to farmers and manufacturing workers in those states while casting the Democrat as a champion of working-class Americans.
“Iowa farmers have been crushed by his tariff war with China and no one knows better than the folks in Iowa. He thinks that being tough is great, well it’s really easy to be tough when someone else absorbs the pain: farmers, manufacturers, the automobile industry,” Biden said.
In the 2016 presidential election, Trump managed to turn the blue states to red, winning six electoral votes and beating his opponent. He intends to keep the state in 2020 and defeating him there would not be as easy, says former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack.