‘Who the hell does he think he is?’: Biden goes after Trump’s rhetoric in Nevada
Written by ABC AUDIO on February 5, 2024
(NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev.) — With two days to go until Nevada’s presidential primary, President Joe Biden appears to have his sights set on November: At a get-out-the-vote rally on Sunday night in North Las Vegas, Biden sharpened his attacks on former President Donald Trump, the only Republican he called out by name in roughly half-hour remarks.
“Trump and his MAGA friends are dividing us, not uniting us. Dragging us back to the past, not leading us in the future. Refusing to accept the results of a general election and seeking, as Trump says, to terminate — his words — ‘terminate’ elements to the U.S. Constitution. You tell me that democracy is not at risk?” Biden said to a “raucous” crowd, according to pool reports.
Biden has focused on criticizing Trump over democracy and rights like abortion access while seeking to paint his likely November rival as too extreme to retake the White House.
At the same time, Trump and other Republicans have hammered Biden over inflation, immigration and foreign policy and the president continues to grapple with months of poor polling and low approval ratings, including a new survey from NBC News — weaknesses seized on by his long shot primary challenger Dean Phillips.
On Sunday night, Biden repeated his anti-MAGA message.
“We have to make sure that we stand for the truth and defeat the lies. You must make it clear that in America, just like all of you do in Nevada, we still believe in honesty, decency, dignity and respect,” he said to cheers.
One woman then shouted from the crowd, “You gotta win, Joe!” prompting Biden to respond, “That’s the reason why I’m running … We have to … It’s not much of a choice.”
The president touted some of his usual campaign stump lines, including what he called his achievements in health care access, infrastructure funding and representation in office while seeking to draw a contrast with Trump’s term in office.
“To call my son, and your sons and daughters, who gave their lives to this country, ‘suckers’ and ‘losers,’ that’s how this guy thinks,” Biden said, recalling reporting that Trump had refused to visit the graves of American service members in France during a rainstorm. “Who the hell does he think he is?”
Trump has adamantly denied that reporting, from 2020, and praised service members as “absolute heroes.”
“It’s a fake story and it’s a disgrace that they’re allowed to do it,” he said at the time.
Sunday marked Biden’s fifth visit to Nevada as president — a state where he narrowly beat Trump in 2020.
He entered the second of two events to chants of “four more years!” and said, “Hello Nevada!”
He did not face any protesters, who have interrupted some of his other appearances over his support for Israel in its war against Hamas. He’s also said Israel should be “careful” and seek to protect civilians.
Biden tailored his message in Nevada to include $3 billion in federal funding, from the 2021 infrastructure bill, for Brightline West, a high-speed rail to connect Las Vegas and Los Angeles, which he said will bring 35,000 jobs.
Earlier Sunday, at a high-dollar fundraiser in Henderson, inside the home of prominent Nevada Democrats, Biden jabbed at Trump over his economic record, according to pool reports.
“It sounds unbelievable, un-American, that a sitting — that a former president seeking the office is hoping for a recession,” Biden said.
He sought to project confidence about his prospects on Election Day: “You’re the reason Donald Trump is a defeated former president. And you’re the reason [we’ll] make Donald Trump a loser again,” he said.
Criticizing Trump’s character, he cited Trump’s comments about how people in Perry, Iowa, needed to “get over” a recent school shooting there, saying that’s not how a president is supposed to talk.
Trump, reacting to Perry, had expressed his sympathy as well. “We’re really with you as much as anybody can be,” he said in January. “It’s a very terrible thing that happened. It’s just terrible.”
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