Trump, Biden Hold Dueling Rallies in Iowa

By Polityk | 11/06/2019 | Повідомлення, Політика

The incumbent U.S. president and the top opposition party frontrunner seeking to unseat him next year on election day both find themselves in the same key political state – a possible preview of a head-to-head match-up more than 500 days before the general election.

Before departing the White House on Tuesday for Iowa, President Donald Trump questioned the leading Democrat’s fitness for office, implying that Biden – who would be 78 when sworn into office – would not be up to the job physically and mentally.

“It looks like he’s failing. It looks like his friends from the left are going to overtake him pretty soon,” the president told reporters. “He looks different than he used to. He acts different than he used to. He’s even slower than he used to be,” the president told reporters.

Critics of Trump have made similar accusations about the president, who turns 73 on Friday.

Biden on Tuesday is poised to unleash his most detailed criticism of Trump’s presidency.

“You know, Donald Trump and I are both in Iowa today. It wasn’t planned that way, but I hope Trump’s presence here will be a clarifying event,” former Vice President Joe Biden is to acknowledge in an evening speech in Davenport, according to prepared remarks. “There’s a lot of ways Trump fails the basic standard to be president — but one of them is this: Donald, it’s not about you. It’s about America.”

Iowa, known as the Hawkeye State, was friendly territory for Trump in his first election – he won there by nine percentage points over his Democratic Party challenger, Hillary Clinton. But polls show him slipping, with more Iowa voters viewing the president unfavorably than favorably by about eight percentage points. Among Republican voters in the state, however, Trump’s favorability remains above 80 percent, according to polls.

“Nobody has treated the farmers better than Donald Trump,” the president asserted on Tuesday. “We’re going to win Iowa by a lot.”
Barack Obama, as a Democrat, won the state twice before Trump turned it around for the Republicans in 2016.

“Democrats have a very good shot if they make the case to Iowans that they are on the side of working people there, and Trump isn’t,” contends Jesse Lee, vice president of communications at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a liberal advocacy group.  

“People in Iowa have had patience with Trump on trade, hoping that he will get a real deal with China that offsets the losses so far, but if he leans into permanent tariffs or comes up with a meaningless deal, patience may run out,” Lee tells VOA.

FILE – President Donald Trump speaks during a Make America Great Again rally at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Oct. 9, 2018.

Biden is largely ignoring the pack of Democrats trailing him in Iowa and elsewhere – zeroing in on Trump for early and direct criticism.

“He thinks he’s being tough,” Biden is to say in his Davenport remarks. “Well, it’s easy to be tough when someone else is feeling the pain.”

Biden, who is making his third bid to become president, on Tuesday is to assert American’s farmers have been crushed by Trump’s tariffs on China.

“No one knows that better than Iowa,” according to Biden’s prepared remarks which reference Trump dozens of times.

“When a man has to mention my name 76 times in a speech that means he’s in trouble,” said Trump departing the White House on Tuesday.

The Biden quote likely to generate the most headlines, is one in which he is to say: “I believe Trump is an existential threat to America.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, when asked about the expected comment, called it laughable because Biden “was part of the administration that allowed Russia to interfere in our election. He was part of the administration that allowed Iran to continue to flourish. They gave $1.8 billion to help fund Iran.”

In trademark fashion, the president has repeatedly hurled personal insults at the 76-year-old former vice president, calling his senior by less than four years “weak mentally” and a washed-up politician who was “taken off the trash heap” by Barack Obama to be vice president.

He also called Biden “a dummy.”

“I’d rather run against Biden than anybody. I think Joe is the weakest up here,” Trump said pointing to his head.

The president told aides to deny that his internal polling showed him trailing Biden in many of the states he needs to win, according to The New York Times, which reports that when some of the polling data leaked, showing Trump lagging in a cluster of critical so-called Rust Belt states, the president instructed aides to say publicly that other data showed him doing well.

Trump is denying this, telling reporters, “I never do. My poll numbers are great. The amazing thing is all I do is get hit by this phony witch hunt.”

In Iowa on Tuesday, Trump is first visiting the western side of the state to talk about renewable energy. Then he flies to central Des Moines, the state’s biggest city with more than 200,000 residents, for a dinner and fundraiser with state Republicans.

Biden is visiting three communities in eastern Iowa: Ottumwa, Mt. Pleasant and Davenport.