WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden, both septuagenarians, once again publicly voiced their intense animosity toward each another on Thursday, complete with threats of physical assault.
“Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault,” Trump tweeted in the early morning.
“He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!”
Speaking at an anti-sexual assault rally Tuesday at the University of Miami, Biden, who is weighing a 2020 run against Trump, said he would have “beat the hell” out of the president if they had been in high school together because of his disrespect for women.
“A guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, ‘I can grab a woman anywhere and she likes it,’” Biden said, referencing a tape that emerged in the waning days of the 2016 campaign that showed Trump boasting of his ability to grab women’s genitals.
“They asked me would I like to debate this gentleman, and I said no. I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him,’” Biden said.
“I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms my whole life. I’m a pretty damn good athlete. Any guy who talked that way was usually the fattest, ugliest S.O.B. in the room.”
Biden, who served as Barack Obama’s vice-president from 2009 to 2017, made similar comments during the campaign.
Trump has already launched his 2020 re-election campaign.
Biden is 75 years old and Trump is 71.
The back-and-forth blustering between two men in their 70s comes a day after Trump criticised two of his predecessors, presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, for not being able to improve relations with Russia. And Trump is facing revived sexual misconduct accusations after a New York state judge ruled that a defamation lawsuit from a woman who has said Trump made unwanted sexual advances could go forward.
Biden, who has been a longtime advocate for anti-sexual assault policies, has been on the road lately, campaigning for Democrats.
He campaigned for a Democrat in western Pennsylvania who won a special congressional election in a district that had previously been considered Trump country. Trump campaigned for the Republican candidate. Democrats see the outcome as an indicator of a potential wave of Democratic wins in the upcoming midterm elections.
Biden considered running in 2016 but decided not to because of the death of his son. At the time, Trump said he thought Biden made the right choice for his family and that he would rather run against Hillary Clinton.
Trump has previously tweeted about Biden while he was vice-president, commenting on Biden’s gaffes. In 2012, Trump said he felt sorry for Biden’s communications team.
“One of the hardest jobs in politics must be cleaning up after @JoeBiden gaffes,” Trump tweeted. “I feel sorry for his spokespeople.”