President Donald Trump lampooned former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday and said he is not worried if Biden, who has recently been accused of a long-standing pattern of conduct that women have found offensive, is the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020.
“I don’t see Joe Biden as a threat. No. I don’t see him as a threat. I think he’s only a threat to himself,” Trump said outside the White House Friday, according to a White House media pool report.
Biden, who has been leading early polls of the Democratic field of 2020 presidential candidates, had been expected to formally announce his candidacy soon. However, in the past week, multiple women have come forward to claim that they were subjected to unwanted touching, kissing or other contact with Biden.
Although Biden’s defenders have said he is a strong ally of the #MeToo movement, others have said that his conduct is a sign that he is out of step with the times. Biden on Wednesday released a video saying he promised to be “more respectful of people’s personal space.” Biden’s video did not contain an apology for any past actions.
Trump on Thursday had tweeted a parody video that showed two images of Biden, one coming from behind to put his hands on the other’s shoulders and move in close behind him.
WELCOME BACK JOE! pic.twitter.com/b2NbBSX3sx
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 4, 2019
As a result, Trump was asked about Biden before he departed Washington for the Southern Border.
“What is exactly is offensive about Joe Biden’s behavior? And are you the right messenger for that?” said a reporter. During the 2016 campaign, multiple women came forward to accuse Trump of misconduct toward them. Trump denied all of the allegations.
“Yeah, I think I’m a very good messenger. And people got a kick out of it. He’s going through a situation; let’s see what happens,” Trump said.
Trump then referred to his Thursday tweet.
“But people got a kick — we got to — we got to sort of smile a little bit, right?” he said.
Trump then assessed Biden as a rival.
“I just don’t see him as a threat. He’s been there a long time. His record is not good. He’d have to run on the Obama failed record. You look at what happened with so many different things: North Korea, the Middle East, the economy never got going. No, I don’t think Joe is a threat. I’d love him to be — I mean, look, I’d be happy with any of them to be honest,” Trump said.
On Tuesday, Trump spoke at the National Republican Congressional Committee dinner and mentioned Biden as he surveyed the Democratic presidential field.
“We’re going into the war with some socialists,” Trump said. “And it looks like the only non sort of heavy socialist, he’s being taken care of pretty well by the socialists.”
“They got to him,” Trump then said, chuckling.
“I was going to call him. I don’t know him well. I was going to say, ‘Welcome to the world, Joe. You having a good time, Joe? Are you having a good time?'” Trump said, according to The Hill.
On Friday, during an appearance before the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Biden appeared to be taking the issue in stride, according to The New York Times.
As he walked on stage, Biden hugged union president Lonnie Stephenson.
“I just want you to know I had permission to hug Lonnie,” he said.
Biden also hugged a boy after welcoming him to the stage.
“By the way, he gave me permission to touch him,” he said. “Everyone knows I like kids more than people.”
Both jokes drew laughter from the crowd.
Biden also offered a comment about the past.
“I’m sorry I didn’t understand more,” he said. “I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything that I have ever done. I’ve never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman.”
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