Trump’s Attacks On Biden Turn Crude, Rude, And Unpresidential

The President of the United States behaves like a child.

Last night during his rally in Minneapolis, President Trump renewed his attacks on the potential 2020 rival former Vice-President Joe Biden, using language best left to a middle-school student on a playground:

President Trump leveled some of his most personal attacks yet against Joe Biden and his family at his first campaign rally since House Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry, highlighting unsubstantiated claims about his potential 2020 rival’s son and using profanity to describe Biden’s tenure as vice president.

At the Target Center here, Trump repeated his dubious claims that Hunter Biden secured $1.5 billion for an investment fund in China while his father served as Barack Obama’s vice president, and he mocked Hunter Biden’s personal problems, including his discharge from the Navy after he tested positive for cocaine use.

“Hunter, you know nothing about energy, you know nothing about China, you know nothing about anything, frankly,” Trump said to a near-capacity crowd. “Hunter, you’re a loser.” 

(…)

Mocking Hunter Biden’s lack of public appearances, Trump bellowed: “Whatever happened to Hunter? Where the hell is he? . . . I have an idea for a new T-shirt . . . Where’s Hunter?”

(…)

During the raucous rally — interrupted frequently by pro-Trump chants, cheers and boos as protesters were hauled out of the arena — the president ramped up his attacks on Biden and paid scant attention to other potential 2020 Democratic challengers, even as the former vice president has faltered lately in polling. 

Biden “was never considered smart,” Trump said. “He was never considered a good senator. He was only a good vice president because he figured out how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.”

Trump’s own vice president, Mike Pence, has been criticized for being too obsequious to the president.

“I’d love to run against him, to be honest,” Trump said of Biden.

Biden responded late Thursday after a town hall meeting in Los Angeles, writing in a Twitter post addressed to Trump: “I spent my night at the HRC [Human Rights Campaign] forum talking about the fundamental respect every human being deserves. You spent yours showing how little respect for anyone else you have. America is so much stronger than your weakness.”

Here’s the video:

This is what our political rhetoric has been reduced to in the Trump Era. A President who uses taunts that you’d expect from pre-teens on a playground while his mind-numbed adoring crowd cheers him on. I’d say it’s sickening or surprising, but it’s basically par for the course at this point and it’s one of the many reasons why this country desperately needs a change, regardless of whether that comes about via impeachment and removal or a decisive loss at the ballot box.

This is why the Democrats need to be careful about who they pick for their nominee. Rising above ideology, they need a candidate who can both take the attacks that Trump will inevitably unleash on them and give back as good as they get. That doesn’t mean they have engage in the same childish rhetoric that this President does, but it does mean finding a candidate who can stand up to Trump and not back down. Joe Biden is clearly one of those candidates, as he has proven throughout the past three-or-so weeks of attacks from the President. While the former Vice-President hasn’t even come close to using the same ignorant rhetoric as the President, he has in his own way effectively fended those attacks off. Were the two men locked in a head-to-head battle, I personally don’t have any doubt about Biden’s ability to give as good as he has gotten, and will continue to get.

Perhaps that’s what frustrates the President most of all about Biden. Unlike the previous targets of his attacks — including former Republican targets such as Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and all of the other Republicans who ran against him — Biden has not backed down and he’s been able to keep up with the attacks. That, perhaps, is why the President is now acting like a child. Because he’s got nothing left.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    I couldn’t bear to watch the whole clip. Does it include the segment in which Trump does his impression of Peter Strzok having an orgasm?

    30
  2. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    So he’s behaving just like he does every day of the week?

    He has never been anything except a school-yard bully. Only his father’s money has protected him for decades.

    53
  3. Kathy says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    So he’s behaving just like he does every day of the week?

    Just on days that end in “y.”

    On Sundium, he displays as much dignity as Queen Elizabeth II Has in her little finger.

    19
  4. al Ameda says:

    Frankly, I’m somewhat surprised that he didn’t turn around, drop his pants and moon onlookers and viewers. There is no floor, no bottom. It can get worse.

    And, you’re exactly right, every Democrat is well advised to respond to Trump’s attacks and retaliate strongly. By trying to stand above the fray you’re allowing him and the equivocating media to define you as Trump wants, and as a passive ineffective opponent

    34
  5. grumpy realist says:

    @al Ameda: Trump and his supporters==internet trolls. None of them are interested in actual planning for the future or careful work to help support The Common Good. All the verbal brouhaha is carried out only For The Lulz/Getting the Libs.

    I suspect that this sort of activity will continue until something happens which teaches them (painfully) you can’t run a country this way.

    35
  6. Gustopher says:

    it does mean finding a candidate who can stand up to Trump and not back down. Joe Biden is clearly one of those candidates, as he has proven throughout the past three-or-so weeks of attacks from the President.

    You’re likely seeing what you want to see in Biden — which may or may not be accurate. It might be worth hunting down polling data that tests whether his favorables and unfavorables are moving.

    17
  7. Gustopher says:

    Trump said to a near-capacity crowd. “Hunter, you’re a loser.”

    I suppose it makes me a bad person, but I want to flood low information Republicans’ lives with clips of this and then asking why the elite New York City Trump hates hunters. He doesn’t understand real America.

    19
  8. de stijl says:

    Trump’s attack on Somali – Americans and Somalians in America was grotesquely ugly.

    It wasn’t even a dog whistle. It was an open invitation to politically motivated violence and was sickening.

    This is what political discourse is now.

    31
  9. liberal capatalist says:

    The rule of law.

    I miss it.

    14
  10. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    I have no problem with Joe, but he is my 4th or 5th place candidate. If he wins the nomination, I’d support him wholeheartedly. Trump must go.

    I’m not hell-bent on Warren, but she has my vote so far.

    24
  11. Kathy says:

    Best case scenario: Trump is impeached and removed, and Biden doesn’t get the Democratic nomination.

    Second-best case scenario: Trump is impeached and this costs him the election, and Biden doesn’t get the Democratic nomination.

    Third-best case scenario: Trump is impeached and resigns, or resigns before being impeached, and Biden doesn’t get the Democratic nomination.

    I’ve nothing against Biden, I think he might be an ok president, but it would irk Trump all the more if it turns out he wouldn’t even have had to run against him.

    14
  12. DrDaveT says:

    This is what our political rhetoric has been reduced to in the Trump Era. A President who uses taunts that you’d expect from pre-teens on a playground while his mind-numbed adoring crowd cheers him on. I’d say it’s sickening or surprising, but it’s basically par for the course at this point and it’s one of the many reasons why this country desperately needs a change, regardless of whether that comes about via impeachment and removal or a decisive loss at the ballot box.

    Neither impeachment nor electoral drubbing will do anything about the root problem, which is the mindless adoring crowd. Take away their Trump, they will not suddenly become immune to the charms of the next vulgar racist sexist anti-intellectual demagogue to come along.

    38
  13. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    It’s early in the campaign.

    It would be extremely awesome if Trump basically impeached himself live on TV over a dude who ended up being an also-ran in the D nomination race.

    Misguided hubris is delicious.

    15
  14. de stijl says:

    In 2008, I was wrong.

    Very wrong.

    I assumed America was not ready to elect a black man as President.

    I initially supported Biden then.

    I was badly wrong, and gladly, as Obama was the best President I’ve ever experienced.

    49
  15. Jay L Gischer says:

    I think Biden’s response has been a bit weak, honestly.

    I would like to see him say, “Trump’s a damn liar, we all know that right? He’s lying about Hunter just like he lies about everything else”. The media would not be able to stay away from that, it would be all over the news.

    But he’s not running a “go at Trump hammer and tongs” campaign, he’s running a “ignore Trump and get back to normal” campaign, so I guess it’s off message.

    Right now Trump is acting like a WWF heel. So what do the faces in the WWF do when the heel says shitty things about them or their family? I think chairs are involved, right?

    19
  16. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Someone here (sorry, I forget who) mentioned the Ukraine-gate thing started around the time the first polls came out which had Trump losing against Biden.

    People who follow politics, never mind experienced political operatives, know the front runner is not certain to win the primaries and the nomination. Dennison being an impulsive and frightened little man, would have panicked and looked for a way to cheat. I’m sure he knows full well that Hunter Biden didn’t do anything, or at least nothing could be proved. And that Joe Biden didn’t interfere in any investigations.

    But when have facts mattered to Trump, his supporters, and increasingly the GOP?

    15
  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @liberal capatalist: The rule of law? I seem to remember when Republicans championed it but I can no longer recall exactly what it is.

    14
  18. Slugger says:

    Trump really knows how to hurt us effete liberals. He called Bruce Springsteen “Little.” Everybody knows that “Little” is Stevie Van Zandt’s moniker. Bruce is “The Boss”. This name calling is sure to take all the steam out of his opposition. He is truly a stable genius. I was also impressed by having his son call out Hunter Biden for profiting on family connections; we should clearly condemn all those silver spoon people.

    12
  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: App 950 days of Benghazi investigations say it was a long time ago.

    6
  20. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    I could be wrong here, but my take is that Biden as the early front runner was a proxy for “an adult who will behave responsibly and is not Trump” with a strong emphasis on “is not Trump”.

    There is no overwhelming Biden surge or constinuency. He is the safe choice. If this were the Oscars, he is Meryl Streep. He is John Kerry. The safe choice. We do not want to alienate rural independents, afterall.

    Biden is thought to be a steady hand, but firstly and lastly not Trump and that is his appeal.

    13
  21. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    In 2015, I was right.

    I called Trump as the R nominee in August 2015, and y’all called me an idiot and down-voted me like crazy. Steven Taylor too. It was where R thought processes / tribal instincts were headed, but everyone was convinced that saner heads and votes would emerge during the primary. They did not.

    But I was also wrong, because I thought Trump would get stomped in the general election. Like McGovern stomped. There, I was also very wrong.

    I called Trump way sooner than you lot though. Frankly, it sorta sucks being right too soon. Being wrong too late is actually way psychologically easier.

    8
  22. Barry says:

    Doug: “Joe Biden is clearly one of those candidates, as he has proven throughout the past three-or-so weeks of attacks from the President.”

    Doug, I disagree. He was still dreaming of the long-dead good ol’ boys network as Trump punched him out of the race.
    He went from a default first place, due to name recognition, to second behind Warren.

    All due to the fact that he hasn’t learned anything about politics for 3 decades now.

    6
  23. Sleeping Dog says:

    @de stijl:

    Tiny believes he can flip Minnesota, his attack on the Somalis, likely cost him that state. Too a person they will show up on election day and vote against him.

    “Joe Biden is clearly one of those candidates, as he has proven throughout the past three-or-so weeks of attacks from the President.”

    @Doug, sorry, I believe you’re wrong on this. Biden will be road kill and Tiny will be Prez if he’s not impeached.

    I know that the the DC insiders and the purveyors of conventional wisdom believe Biden has the best chance of beating Tiny, but when you think about who voted for him and why that rational falls apart. ~40% voted for him for racist, nativist reasons, but his margin of victory was from voters who wanted something other than Obama or Bush redux. Populist voters who are looking for change. For all his bloviating Tiny hasn’t delivered on that, a Dem who can make the populist appeal could steal that marginal voter.

    6
  24. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Trump had best cast his resources at Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin before trying to flip Minnesota.

    He’s busy fighting the last battle when the next battle might finish him.

    6
  25. de stijl says:

    I think Joe Biden is the Jeb Bush of 2020. Everyone expects him to do well, so he initially does well.

    He’s a solid choice no one vehemently objects to, but is no one’s gotta-be-him #1 choice. He will fade. Second in Iowa, third in New Hampshire, done by March.

    Trump will have shot his arsenal and committed an impeachable act live on TV over an also-ran.

    That is so delicious!

    11
  26. Modulo Myself says:

    Perhaps that’s what frustrates the President most of all about Biden. Unlike the previous targets of his attacks — including former Republican targets such as Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and all of the other Republicans who ran against him — Biden has not backed down and he’s been able to keep up with the attacks.

    What bugs Trump is that Biden actually loves his children, even though Hunter Biden has obviously cashed in on his father’s name. There’s also the fact that Hunter Biden is far superior to the dimwits Trump has produced, but this is par for the course for the GOP, which is basically the party of resentful zeroes and losers who would love to have enough pull to get their kids into Harvard or onto some corporate board somewhere but their children are busy reverting to the family mean.

    But I think it’s the love that bothers people like Trump or Giuliani. The only time Trump has given anyone happiness is through money or leaving the room. His base–well, they respect that about him, because in their hearts they think that’s who they really are. I think Biden’s a terrible candidate, but he’s not some warped product of American shit like your average Republican.

    13
  27. de stijl says:

    This evening US troops in Syria came under direct fire from Turkish artillery.

    The Turks apparently thought they were firing on the Kurds, who were our allies and the folks who defeated ISIS in northern Syria.

    Any Trump fans want to defend this?

    20
  28. de stijl says:

    Tonight the acting Homeland Security (b.s. Orwellian name) Secretary suddenly resigned to spend more time with his family before he ends up in a federal prison at worst or permanently publicly disgraced at best.

    The fourth person in that position since Trump took office.

    So stable, this administration!

    8
  29. de stijl says:

    I apologize for the lame construct of “Trump will have shot his *arsenal*…”

    Obviously, I initially used a different word than “arsenal” but that was perhaps too risque.

    I apologize for the weird word choice.

    2
  30. de stijl says:

    There is no legitimate reason that the Attorney General should have a meeting with Murdoch.

    The AG is the chief law enforcement officer of the federal government. She or he is not the president’s attorney, but for all Americans.

    Barr must go. It screams of coordination.

    15
  31. gVOR08 says:

    We will be very lucky if this is anywhere near the worst thing Trump does between now and his leaving office.

    8
  32. Anonne says:

    This is why the Democrats need to be careful about who they pick for their nominee. Rising above ideology, they need a candidate who can both take the attacks that Trump will inevitably unleash on them and give back as good as they get. That doesn’t mean they have engage in the same childish rhetoric that this President does, but it does mean finding a candidate who can stand up to Trump and not back down. Joe Biden is clearly one of those candidates, as he has proven throughout the past three-or-so weeks of attacks from the President. While the former Vice-President hasn’t even come close to using the same ignorant rhetoric as the President, he has in his own way effectively fended those attacks off. Were the two men locked in a head-to-head battle, I personally don’t have any doubt about Biden’s ability to give as good as he has gotten, and will continue to get.

    How well did that work for Hillary Clinton? Hillary had some good one-liners, too. She still lost.

    Enough of the country responded to Trump’s id, with the help of Republican voter suppression in a number of states. The country is full of people who never matured past high school, to whom these juvenile attacks are perceived as strength. Trump going off on “fake news” like he did to that reporter the other day was not seen as flailing. It was seen as one of his best performances yet, putting that reporter in his place.

    Biden, on the other hand, gets the short end of this stick because we are constantly reminded of his soft corruption. Hypocritically, of course, because Trump’s own children have been profiting handsomely from his own corruption since they entered the world, but especially so in the last three years. But does that matter? It’s enough to suppress participation, when he can make Biden seem just as corrupt as he is. Biden is Hillary 2.0 with more policy baggage and he needs to get out of the race.

    5
  33. gVOR08 says:

    @Anonne:

    and he needs to get out of the race.

    I want Biden in the race as long as possible. He’s drawing most of their fire off the eventual nominee.

    6
  34. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: it’s a balance…we want him in front to take fire, but also to gradually sink for the next 3 to 4 months. It’s not unstressfull.

    4
  35. Ramona Raymond says:

    @Kathy: he has no dignity. none, zilch, nada.

  36. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jay L Gischer: You don’t watch WWE enough. The current play is that the faces are being routinely beaten up by gangs of heels until the PPV where the face turns in a miraculous (and clean) win.

    The current Seth Rolling/The Fiend program is going differently, true, but the fans are chanting “bullshit bullshit” too, so they may need a rewrite on the characters.