The gloves are officially off for 2020 Democratic hopeful Joe Biden.
The former vice president lashed out at President Trump and suggested he had dirt on his opponents which he claimed he didn’t want to have to use in the race for the White House.
The 76-year-old former senator seemed to be a far cry from his “Uncle Joe” or “Sleepy Joe” personas during his wide-ranging CNN interview while in Des Moines, Iowa, asserting to host Chris Cuomo that he was not intimated by Trump.
“Sure it worries me, in the sense that I’m looking forward to this, man,” he said, holding up his fists.
“You walk behind me in a debate, come here man,” he added, apparently referring a 2016 televised debate when Trump lurked behind his then-Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
“Don’t you think — you know me too well. The idea that I’d be intimidated by Donald Trump?” Biden continued.
“He’s the bully that I knew my whole life. He’s the bully that I’ve always stood up to. He’s the bully that used to make fun when I was a kid that I stutter, and I’d smack them in the mouth,” the Democratic front-runner ranted.
“But I think the American people want a president who has some dignity,” he added, apparently missing the irony, “who has a value set, who is actually trying to restore the soul of this country so when they turn on the television they look up and their kids say, ‘I want to be like that guy or that woman.’”
Noting that Trump “knows how to fight in the ring one-on-one,” Cuomo asked the Democrat if he was confident that he could “take on the biggest and the baddest” in the president.
Responding that he had “never been accused of not being able to spar,” Biden cited his record under former President Barack Obama’s administration.
“I’ve been accused of being too aggressive,” he said.
He claimed he could defeat Trump in 2020 “by just pointing out who I am and who he is and what we’re for and he’s against.”
“This guy is a divider-in-chief. This guy is acting with racist policies. This guy is moving to foment hate, to split. That’s the only way he can sustain himself,” he said.
Trump responded to Biden’s insult on Friday, telling reporters at the White House that he is cleaning up the “mess” that Biden and Obama created.
“I don’t think I’m a bully. I just don’t like being taken advantage of by other countries, by pharmaceutical companies, by all of the people that have taken advantage of this country,” Trump said.
“You look at what Joe Biden has done with China. We’ve lost our shirts with China and now China is dying to make a deal,” he added. “So if you look at what we’ve done and if you look at what we’ve straightened out, I call it the Obama/Biden mess. We’re straightening it out.”
Biden wasn’t only firing shots at Trump in his interview as he also challenged the more liberal members of his own party, throwing shade at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez while asserting that he will carry the party to victory based on his moderate stance on issues.
Biden suggests AOC might not have what it takes for the big leagues: Yeah, ‘she won a primary, but…’ https://t.co/TAHLx1VwMf
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 5, 2019
Biden also seemed to suggest that he had dirt on his presidential opponents that could be used in the future, though he was not keen to do so.
“Did you see the questions about your past positions from the perspective of race being as relevant as they are?” Cuomo asked the Democrat as they discussed his Democratic debate last week as Sen. Kamala Harris confronted him for opposing the busing of students.
“No, I don’t think they’re relevant, they’ve been taken out of context,” Biden responded.
“What I didn’t see is people who know me. I mean, they know me well, it’s not it’s somebody who just came out of the blue and didn’t know anything. It’s so easy to go back, and go back 30, 40, 50 years and take it completely out of context,” he said, adding what could sound like a threat.
“And I mean, I get all this information about other people’s pasts, and what they’ve done and not done. And you know, I’m just not going to go there,” he told Cuomo. “If we keep doing that — I mean, we should be debating what we do from here.”
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