President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are assailing each other during overlapping visits to Iowa on Tuesday, previewing what the country might get in next year’s election if Biden becomes his party’s nominee.
Even before he left the White House, Trump unleashed a series of schoolyard taunts, declaring that “Joe Biden is a dummy.” Biden quickly retorted that the president is “literally an existential threat to this country.”
The back-and-forth laid bare the rising political stakes for each, even with Election Day 2020 still about 17 months away. Trump has zeroed in on Biden as a potential threat to his re-election chances and is testing themes to beat him back. Biden, meanwhile, is campaigning as a front-runner, relishing the one-on-one fight with Trump while making sure he doesn’t ignore the demands of the Democratic primary.
“I’d rather run against Biden than anybody,” Trump told reporters before flying to Iowa. “I think he’s the weakest mentally and I like running against people that are weak mentally.”
Biden said such behavior is beneath the office of the presidency. He noted that Trump “found time to go after Bette Midler in the middle of the D-Day ceremonies,” referring to the president’s ongoing online feud with the actress.