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Biden tries out a new line of attack on Trump: The former president’s age


By Michael Williams and Arlette Saenz, CNN

Washington (CNN) — President Joe Biden on Monday pointedly explored a new line of attack against his once-and-likely-future opponent Donald Trump, mocking Trump’s age as Biden tries to turn the tables on one of his greatest political liabilities.

Firing back against critics who say his own age is a liability in the upcoming election, 81-year-old Biden told Seth Meyers, “You got to take a look at the other guy,” referring to the 77-year-old Trump.

“He’s about as old as I am, but he can’t remember his wife’s name,” he joked, in an apparent reference to an episode over the weekend where the former president mistakenly called his wife Melania “Mercedes” during remarks at CPAC.

During the interview on NBC’s “Late Night,” Biden said voters should not just consider how old a candidate is, but “how old (their) ideas are.”

“Look, I mean, this is a guy who wants to take us back,” Biden said of Trump. “He wants to take us back on Roe v. Wade, he wants to take us back on a whole range of issues that are – 50, 60 years, they’ve been solid American positions.”

The pre-taped interview with Meyers took place shortly after the White House announced Biden would be visiting the Texas-Mexico border on Thursday – the same day Trump plans to head to Eagle Pass, Texas, about 300 miles away and the epicenter of a recent clash between the state and federal governments over border crossings.

Biden’s comments about Trump’s age could mark a notable shift in the president’s messaging strategy, coming just days after Trump won the South Carolina Republican primaries in another step toward grabbing his party’s presidential nomination. The two men have not often attacked each other over their age and Trump has previously said he doesn’t believe Biden is too old to run for reelection. Instead of attacking Biden directly over his age, Trump instead tries to paint Biden as “incompetent,” and “cognitively impaired,” which he argues is not solely about the president’s age.

During his trip to Texas, Biden plans to meet with US Border Patrol agents, other law enforcement and local elected officials, and “discuss the urgent need to pass the Senate bipartisan border security agreement,” according to a White House advisory.

Biden will meet with top congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday for a high-stakes meeting to discuss the border, along with the need to avert a government shutdown and pass more urgently needed funding to Ukraine.

Biden was frequently critical of Trump during his interview with Meyers, bringing up the former president within minutes after Meyers asked Biden a question about infrastructure.

“The last guy had – he had infrastructure week every week,” Biden said. “But we actually got it done.”

He also repeated criticisms about Trump’s recent statement that he would let Russia have their way with NATO member countries who don’t fulfill funding obligations.

“I mean, what are we talking about here? What in God’s name? The idea that the president of the United States is inviting Vladimir Putin to invade … Western countries? It’s bizarre, absolutely bizarre. And it’s totally against our interest,” Biden said.

Foreign leaders, Biden said, are “scared to death” of what a second Trump term could mean for the relationship between the United States and other countries.

“Democracy is at stake,” Biden told Meyers. “It really is.”

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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