President Joe Biden took aim squarely at Donald Trump Sunday as he ramped up his campaign efforts and took his pitch to the voters of Nevada just days before the Democratic primary, describing the upcoming 2024 election as a “battle for the soul of our nation.”
The president attended two campaign events in the battleground state, beginning with a fundraiser in which the Associated Press described the president focusing “on Trump’s ample history of provocative statements.” Trump’s comparison to Jan. 6 rioters as “hostages” and his infamous promise that he would be “dictator” on Day One of his presidency were among those to feature.
Then, speaking to a crowd at the Pearson Community Center in a predominantly Black community in Las Vegas—the historic Westside neighborhood—Biden started swinging at Trump almost immediately, vowing to “make Donald Trump a loser again.”
Describing the “mess” he was left after Trump left the White House–including a raging COVID-19 pandemic and a floundering economy– Biden warned, “imagine the nightmare if Donald Trump is re-elected,” to a chorus of chants of “No!” from the crowd.
“Look how far we’ve come because of you,” Biden said, thanking followers for staying with him despite concerns of a flagging popularity base.
“I know, we know, we have a lot more to do,” Biden said. “Not everyone is feeling the benefits of our investments and progress yet.”
But, he urged, “we have to win. I give you my word, we have to. There’s not much of a choice here.”
Referring to Trump back-and-forth within his 30-minute speech, Biden criticized him on gun control, abortion and the economy, among other talking points. At one point, Biden referred to a 2020 report on the then-President Trump reportedly calling fallen Americans who died in World War II “losers” and “suckers.”
“That’s how this guy thinks. Who the hell does he think he is?”
Responding to Biden’s speech to the Associated Press, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said Biden “has been a nightmare for this country in just three short years in the White House, and no amount of gaslighting will make Americans forget about all the misery and destruction he has brought.”
Nevada will hold its Democratic primary on Tuesday, following Biden’s win in South Carolina last week, though the competition isn’t exactly fierce.
One of his most vocal opponents, Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota, missed the filing deadline and won’t even appear on the ballot. His other challenger–self-help author Marianne Williamson—is not expected to make a dent against the president.