Biden and Trump trade barbs in Iowa
by Harvest Prude
Posted 6/12/19, 12:46 pm
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden took aim at each other Tuesday while campaigning in Iowa.
Before flying to the key battleground state, Trump told reporters he’d “rather run against Biden than anybody” in 2020. In Council Bluffs, the president toured a renewable energy facility and signed an executive order to help promote “agricultural biotechnology” to help farmers. In addition to touting his administration’s accomplishments on the economy and trade strategy, Trump accused Biden of being weak on China, called him “Sleepy Joe,” and compared him to his 2016 presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton. “He makes his stance in Iowa once every two weeks and then he mentions my name 74 times in one speech. … That reminds me of Hillary. She did the same thing,” he said.
Biden, one of about two-dozen candidates seeking the Democratic nomination in 2020, was close to 180 miles away from the president in Mount Pleasant. He said Trump was “really fascinated by me,” and noted that the president frequently watched and commented on his campaign speeches. Later, in Davenport, Biden called the president an “existential threat to America” who is “breaking down the barriers that constrain his power.” Biden slammed Trump for his trade war with China and said the tariffs had hurt Iowa farmers.
Democrats have stepped up campaign efforts in Iowa, where its caucuses will initiate the party’s nominating process in early February 2020. Nineteen presidential hopefuls descended on Cedar Rapids last weekend for a rally hosted by Iowa Democrats. The candidates spoke for five minutes each to approximately 1,400 voters on Sunday. Biden turned down the invitation, saying it conflicted with his granddaughter’s high school graduation. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro also did not attend.
According to early polling, Biden continues to lead all other Democratic contenders seeking the party’s nomination, but his lead is narrowing. A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday showed that his support among Democrats had dipped from 35 percent in May to 30 percent this month. The poll also found that in a head-to-head matchup with Trump, Biden comes out on top 53 to 40 percent.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.