President Trump ramped up his criticism Monday of "Sleepy Joe Biden" as the former vice president rises in the polls, saying former President Barack Obama took him off the “trash heap” back in 2008 -- and China is rooting for him.
“Looks like Bernie Sanders is history. Sleepy Joe Biden is pulling ahead and think about it, I’m only here because of Sleepy Joe and the man who took him off the 1% trash heap, President O! China wants Sleepy Joe BADLY!” Trump tweeted.
The president’s tweet comes as Biden climbs in the 2020 Democratic presidential polls. A Fox News Poll last week showed Biden leading the crowded field with 35 percent, and Sen. Sanders, I-Vt., in second position with 17 percent.
Trump’s tweet seemed to be a reference to Biden's poor performance in the 2008 Democratic primaries. Biden consistently polled in the low single digits in that race and dropped out after garnering just 1 percent in the Iowa caucuses. Obama later tapped him to be his running mate.
Trump’s Monday tweet is hardly the first time he’s taken aim at Biden. The president has maintained he could beat Biden “easily” in 2020, should the former vice president secure the Democratic nomination. The president has also dubbed Biden “sleepy Joe,” claiming the 76-year-old doesn’t have enough energy to compete against him. Trump, who is 72, said last month that he felt like a “young” and “vibrant man.”
“I look at Joe, I don’t know about him,” Trump said. “I would never say anyone’s too old. I know they’re all making me look very young both in terms of age and in terms of energy.”
Biden, for his part, took shots at Trump during his official campaign kickoff over the weekend.
Among other things, he claimed that Trump inherited a good economy from an “Obama/Biden administration, just like he inherited everything else in his life” -- a barb that drew some of the loudest applause in his speech.
The president’s tweet also seemed to mock Biden over his recent comments claiming that Beijing was not a competitor for the U.S.
Biden earlier this month said that China is “not competition for us,” drawing criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
“No other nation can catch us, including China,” Biden later said. “I got criticized for saying that. I’ve spent as much time with [Chinese President] Xi Jinping as any world leader has.”
Separately, during an exclusive interview with Fox News, Trump blasted Biden’s stance on China.
"He says China’s not a competitor of ours," Trump said of Biden. "China is a massive competitor of ours. They want to take over the world. OK?"
Trump has increased tariffs on China, and said during the interview that they are “totally getting killed.”