Biden Dubs Trump a ‘Loser’ in Rival’s Florida Backyard

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden called Donald Trump a “loser” during a reelection fundraising swing through his Republican rival’s home turf in South Florida.

Most Read from Bloomberg

Biden told campaign donors “we have to keep the White House” because if not, Trump could return to office and enact a national abortion ban, roll back health care programs and use the threat of political violence to undermine America’s democratic institutions.

“You’re the reason Donald Trump is a defeated president,” Biden said at an event in Jupiter, Florida. “And you’re the reason we’re going to make him a loser again.”

Trump, who is heavily favored to win the GOP presidential nomination, has lived at his Mar-a-Lago club 18 miles to the south in Palm Beach since leaving the White House in 2021. Biden is holding a second fundraiser in Miami later Tuesday.

The former president’s outsize presence in the region is unmistakable; Trump’s branded plane could be seen from Air Force One on the tarmac at Palm Beach International Airport upon Biden’s arrival. His Jupiter golf club is about a 15-minute drive from where the president’s first event was held.

Florida is a onetime battleground state that has moved heavily to the right since Trump’s victory in 2016, and Biden’s campaign has shown few signs of making a play for the Sunshine State in November — though the president told donors “I think we can win” the state.

Read More: Biden, Trump, Haley Race to Florida’s Wall Street South for Cash

But it’s an area full of wealthy donors willing to cut checks to candidates from both political parties, as an influx of billionaires in recent years has juiced the state’s burgeoning financial sector.

Biden has made a more aggressive play for donor cash and votes in the new year, using a more pointed tone against Trump in an effort to throw him off message. Biden highlighted recent signs the US economy remains strong and compared them to the “mess” he said Trump helped create during his presidency.

“He’s already Herbert Hoover,” Biden said of Trump.

Hedge-fund billionaire Henry Laufer is set to co-host Biden’s Miami fundraiser, which will be at the home of Biden Victory Fund national finance chair and attorney Chris Korge. Ana Navarro, co-host of ABC’s The View, Adam Carlin of Morgan Stanley, Alex Heckler of LSN Partners LLC and Harvard University professor Steven Levitsky were among those expected to attend.

Sean Domnick of Domnick Cunningham & Yaffa and Kelly Domnick, hosted Biden’s Jupiter fundraiser with lawyers from across the state.

The president is looking to stockpile campaign cash for what is expected to be a long, grinding rematch with Trump in November. Biden’s campaign raised $97 million in the last three months of 2023, a massive sum that helped increase his war chest to $117 million cash on hand.

The total includes money raised for Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state parties.

Florida residents have given $23.3 million to presidential campaigns through the third quarter of 2023, according to Federal Election Commission data, second only to California. The state was the fifth-largest source of campaign cash in the 2020 election.

--With assistance from Amanda Gordon and Bill Allison.

(Updates to add details on Biden’s fundraising paragraph 13. Earlier version corrected filing period for president’s fundraising.)

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.