Former Vice President Joe Biden is going directly after President Donald Trump as he prepares for a possible 2020 presidential challenge.
In a speech to Delaware Democrats, Biden specifically called out Trump for betraying the very substance of the country.
“The election in 2020, without hyperbole, is going to be the most important election this country has undergone in over 100 years,” Biden said on Saturday. “Not a joke.”
At this point in the race, 2020 candidates spend more time talking about who they are and their own values and policies. Since Biden already enjoys a prominent name identity, he is already spending the majority of his time attacking Trump.
Biden aides told CNN that he will “focus on the imperative to defeat Trump” if he runs for president. His strategy was apparent in his speech on Saturday.
“The danger posed by this administration to this nation is not hypothetical or exaggerated, it is real, it is existential and many of our Republican and Independent friends know it as well,” Biden warned Democrats.
Biden’s speech at the Delaware Democratic Party fundraiser made news for his blooper about already running for president, despite waiting to make an official announcement. But at its core, Biden spent most of his speech targeting Trump.
Biden specifically referred to Trump’s remarks in Charlottesville, repeating the hoax that the president described “white supremacists,” “Klansmen,” and “neo-Nazis” as “very fine people.”
(Trump actually said that white nationalists and neo-Nazis should be “condemned totally.”)
Biden continued ripping Trump for “tearing down the guardrails of society” by challenging the media, the judiciary, and the legal branch of government.
“The more you weaken the power of these institutions set up to prevent the abuse of power, set up to prevent the accumulation of power, the more power rises to the presidency,” he warned. “Folks, we better wake up to what’s happening right in front of our eyes.”
He warned that American Democracy was in real danger of crumbling as a result of Trump’s presidency. He accused Trump of betraying the American values of treating everyone with dignity and respect, including immigrants and the poor.
“This president sneers at these values, literally. He thinks they make us weak, he thinks we are suckers,” Biden said. “Well, he is dead wrong.”
Biden also accused Trump of betraying the American workers who helped elect him president by giving tax cuts to the wealthiest one percent of Americans.
“Trump turned his back on the very people he promised he would help, farmers, construction workers, teachers, home health care workers,” Biden said. “So many folks in places like Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin were whipsawed by a changing world economy and left behind by the draconian policies of this administration.”
Biden raged against Trump’s proposed budget for hurting the middle class, cutting federal programs, and raising the federal deficit.
“Folks, we are literally in a battle for the soul of America,” Biden said to applause.