The former president skipped the second GOP debate and poked fun at the “job candidates” taking part during his own competing speech at a Michigan auto parts factory.
“We are competing with the job candidates, they are all running for a job. They are all job candidates. They will do anything, secretary of something, they even say VP. Has anyone seen a VP in that group? I don’t think so,” Mr Trump told the crowd at Drake Enterprises, an automotive manufacturing plant in Clinton Township.
And he added: “They don’t have a crowd like we have, thousands of people outside who couldn’t get in.”
The former president visited the battleground state the day after Joe Biden joined the UAW picket line to support striking workers.
During his speech, Mr Trump called Joe Biden a “wretched old vulture” who was “trying to finish off his prey” by supporting electric vehicles in America.
“Joe Biden came to Michigan to pose for pictures at the picket line…he only came after I announced I would be here, he announced it a a bit later. He spoke for a few seconds and had absolutely no idea what he was saying,” added Mr Trump.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s rivals tore into him for missing the debate, which was held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
“Where’s Joe Biden,” said Florida governor Ron DeSantis. “He’s completely missing in action from leadership. You know who else is missing in action? Donald Trump is missing in action. He should be on this stage tonight.”
“He owes it to you to defend his record where they added $7.8 trillion to the debt,” he added. “That set the stage for the inflation we have now.”
And he was not the only candidate attacking Mr Trump for failing to show up.
“Donald Trump hides behind the walls of his golf clubs and won’t show up here to answer questions like all the rest of us are up here to answer,” former New Jersey governor Chris Christie said on the debate stage. “He put $7 trillion on the debt, he should be in this room to answer those questions for the people you talk about who are suffering.”