Trump Targets Biden After Verbal Slip on 2020 Run

March 18, 2019 Updated: March 18, 2019

President Donald Trump lambasted former Vice President Joe Biden after Biden had a slip of the tongue and almost announced running for president in 2020—a decision Biden is reportedly still mulling over and has not formally made any declaration on.

Trump, who has kept a keen eye on the crowded and growing field of 2020 Democrat contenders—now numbering more than a dozen—criticized Biden on March 18 for failing to speak his lines properly.

“Joe Biden got tongue-tied over the weekend when he was unable to properly deliver a very simple line about his decision to run for President,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Get used to it, another low I.Q. individual!”

Biden made the verbal slip-up over the weekend as he gave a speech to a dinner gathering of Democrats in Delaware.

“I’m told I get criticized by the New Left,” Biden said. “I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the … anybody who would run.”

Biden then quickly corrected himself, clarifying that he meant to say “anybody who would run,” then adding “I didn’t mean it.”

Biden has long been considering whether to run in 2020 and is widely expected to join the field of Democrat contenders. Last week, a Democratic lawmaker said Biden told him in a phone call that he was “giving it a shot” on running for president. Biden himself teased a possible bid on March 12, telling a friendly crowd of union members he may need their support “in a few weeks.”

Trump said in a 2018 interview that he especially hoped to run against Biden in 2020.

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the International Association of Fire Fighters conference in Washington on March 12, 2019. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Rev. Al Sharpton and former Vice President Joe Biden arrive during the National Action Network Breakfast in Washington on Jan. 21, 2019. (Al Drago/Getty Images)

“I dream about Biden. That’s a dream,” Trump said. “Look, Joe Biden ran three times. He never got more than 1 percent and President Obama took him out of the garbage heap, and everybody was shocked that he did. I’d love to have it be Biden.”

Biden failed to develop a strong base of political support in his two previous presidential runs, dropping out of the race both times. If he were to be elected, he would be 78 years old when taking office, which would make him the oldest president-elect in U.S. history. He grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and has spent more than four decades in Washington, mostly as a U.S. senator representing Delaware.

Despite not announcing a presidential run, Biden is the clear frontrunner in all major polls tracking possible 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, including Morning Consult, Monmouth, Harvard-Harris, and Emerson. According to a RealClearPolitics average, Biden leads at 29 percent, as self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) trails far behind at 22 percent.

On March 14, Beto O’Rourke, the Democrat who lost the midterm Senate race against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced he would be running for president. Other contenders already in the race include Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Biden has been a frequent critic of Trump, and both having shot barbed words at each other during the last two years.

During his speech to Deleware Democrats, Biden repeatedly attacked Trump and accused him of stoking division. Biden also bemoaned how the rising “new left” of his own party had criticized him for being cordial to Republicans.

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