Joe Biden Attacks Trump In Swing State Speech, Calls Him An ‘Existential Threat’

Former Vice President Joe Biden is going on the offense against President Donald Trump in Iowa on Tuesday, with plans to deliver a lengthy speech that tears into Trump on everything from his “choking” trade war with China to his “childishness” on Twitter.

“I believe Trump is an existential threat to America,” Biden plans to say in Davenport, according to prepared remarks released by his campaign. “Everywhere you turn, Trump is tearing down the guardrails of democracy.”

Trump also will travel to Iowa on Tuesday and plans to speak in Council Bluffs and then at an Iowa Republican Party dinner in West Des Moines. The same-state visit “wasn’t planned that way,” Biden will tell his audience, “but I hope Trump’s presence here will be a clarifying event.”

Biden told a room full of donors and lobbyists in Washington on Monday that Republicans “know better” and will cooperate with Democrats after the end of Trump’s presidency ― optimistic comments seemingly contradicted by eight years of lockstep GOP opposition during Barack Obama’s two terms.

Trump, responding to reporters’ questions about Biden on Tuesday, called his Democratic competitor a “loser” and a “dummy.”

“I’d rather run against, I think, Biden than anybody. I think he’s the weakest mentally and I think Joe is weak mentally,” he said. “The others have much more energy.”

Here are some of the attacks on Trump in Biden’s Iowa speech:

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden plans a lengthy speech in Iowa on Tuesday that criticizes President Donald Trump.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden plans a lengthy speech in Iowa on Tuesday that criticizes President Donald Trump.

China

Biden plans to torch Trump for mishandling the U.S. relationship with China, busying himself with social media name-calling while the Asian nation makes advancements in technology, infrastructure and renewable energy.

“We are in a competition with China. We need to get tough with China. They are a serious challenge to us, and in some areas a real threat. And every single step that Donald Trump is taking is only exacerbating the challenge,” Biden’s speech says. 

“While Trump is tweeting, China is making massive investments in technologies of the future. While Trump is name-calling, China is building roads, bridges, and high-speed rail. While Trump is pursuing a damaging and erratic trade war, without any real strategy, China is positioning itself to lead the world in renewable energy. While Trump is attacking our friends, China is pressing its advantage all over the world. So you bet I’m worried about China ― if we keep following Trump’s path.”

Tariffs

Iowa’s farmers have been among the hardest hit by Trump’s trade war with China. Biden plans to make sure they know it. 

“How many sleepless nights do you think Trump has had over what he’s doing to America’s farmers?” Biden asks in the speech text. “Here’s the answer: Just as many as he had when he stiffed the construction workers and electricians and plumbers who built his hotels and casinos. Zero.”

“Trump doesn’t get the basics. He thinks his tariffs are being paid by China. Any beginning econ student at Iowa or Iowa State could tell you that the American people are paying his tariffs.

“And how about manufacturing? Trump’s tariffs and trade wars are hitting a lot of American manufacturing ― especially the American automobile industry ―
Choking it to within an inch of its life.”

Joe Biden will call Trump "an existential threat to America."

Joe Biden will call Trump “an existential threat to America.”

Climate change

Biden plans to mock Trump’s rejection of climate change science and his confusion between climate and weather.

“What did he tell Piers Morgan in that interview? ‘Well, the weather goes both ways,’” Biden jabs, mentioning Trump’s recent interview in London. 

“It reminds me of when he tweeted in the winter that since it was cold outside there was no climate warming. Or how about when he said the way to deal with California’s fires was to rake the leaves? It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.”

Health care

“If I become the nominee of this party, I’m going to give Trump a thrashing every day on health care,” Biden plans to say.

He will defend the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law signed by President Barack Obama that Trump has unsuccessfully vowed to repeal. Biden touts the law’s mandated coverage for pre-existing conditions and allowing people to stay on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26.

“I’m not going to let the American people forget that it’s because of the Affordable Care Act that millions of people gained health coverage,” he will say.

Taxes

Biden will slam Trump for tax cuts for the wealthy and says they will be “gone” once he’s president.

“When I’m president we’re going to have a fairer tax code. We’re going to get rid of hundreds of billions of dollars in tax loopholes that have no economic or societal rationale,” he plans to say. “We’re going to build an economy that doesn’t just reward wealth; we’re going to build an economy that rewards work. We’re going to build an economy that works for everyone.”

Twitter

Biden plans to highlight Trump’s antics on Twitter as a world leader, particularly fights he picks not with the nation’s adversaries, like Russian President Vladimir Putin or North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but with Americans and its allies.

“He gets up in the middle of the night to attack Bette Midler. He attacks the mayor of London. He attacks the American Speaker of the House,” Biden says, pointing to Trump’s recent behavior while in London. “It was a stunning display of childishness for the whole world to see.”

“This president is setting a standard for crude language and embarrassing behavior that is burrowing deep into this culture ― and it’s going to take a long time to get rid of it,” he will say. 

This president is setting a standard for crude language and embarrassing behavior that is burrowing deep into this culture – and it’s going to take a long time to get rid of it.”

Threats to America

Biden will tick off “fundamental threats” that Trump poses to America’s democracy, core values and standing in the world. He mentions Trump’s response to the deadly 2017 Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, when the president defended white supremacists , saying there were “very fine people on both sides.” He also attacks Trump’s treatment of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Biden will show concern for America’s diminished world standing by pointing to his recent attack of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during a Fox News interview at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

“He remains the only American president who has ever threatened to leave NATO,” Biden adds in the speech. “Does anyone really believe our allies left Normandy reassured? I don’t.”

Biden calls Trump out as a threat to democracy by pointing out that the president once challenged a judge’s credibility because of his Mexican ancestry, defied the authority of Congress, trash-talked law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and called the media and its First Amendment protections enemies of the people.

“Trump’s goal is simple ― discredit the news, discredit the free press ― and he gets to run roughshod over America.” 

This story has been updated with comments from Trump on Tuesday.