President Donald Trump tore into Joe Biden on Tuesday, questioning his mental fortitude ahead of dueling events in Iowa where Biden is expected to similarly lay into the president.
“When a man has to mention my name 76 times in his speech, that means he’s in trouble,” Trump told reporters before departing the White House. “I have to tell you, he’s a different guy. He looks different then he used to, he acts different than he used to, he is even slower than he used to be. So I don’t know. But when he mentions my name that many times, I guess I should be complemented.”
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Trump has repeatedly tried to diminish Biden by questioning his mental and physical fitness, a tactic he’s also deployed against his former rival Hillary Clinton and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Biden, for his part, is expected to directly target the president in a speech later Tuesday in his return to Iowa after a spell off the campaign trail. According to excerpts of the speech released to reporters beforehand, Biden will mention the president dozens of times, going after his affinity for strongman foreign leaders and the impacts of his trade wars.
Trump said Tuesday he’d rather run against Biden, who he called a loser, more than any other of the nearly two dozen Democrats running for president.
“I think he’s the weakest mentally. I like running against people who are weak mentally. I think he is the weakest up here,” he said, pointing to his head. “The other ones have much more energy. I don’t agree with their policies, but I — I call him 1 percent Joe, because until Obama came along he did very well.”