Joe Biden said he doesn’t intend to try to match Donald Trump in the nickname game but nonetheless offered one for the president while speaking to donors on Saturday.
“There are so many nicknames that I’m inclined to give this guy. We could just start with clown,” Biden told about three dozen supporters at a $1,000-to-$2,800 per person fundraiser in Columbia, South Carolina. “When he says these ridiculous things he says, I mean this, I put my hand up and say, ‘everybody knows who you are’ because they do know.”
Trump regularly assigns derogatory nicknames to political foes. He calls Biden “Sleepy Joe” on Twitter and has tagged many of the other top Democratic contenders.
A donor urged the former vice president to respond with his own nicknames for Trump, but Biden said he’d aim to keep discourse at a higher level. “The only place he has any confidence is in the mud. The only thing he doesn’t know how to respond to is issues and specifics,” he said.
Even so, at another point in his response to the question, Biden referred to Trump as a “no good S.O.B.” who would likely turn to attacking his children and grandchildren, “the last people I want to go through” what Trump is likely to hurl their way.
Biden also told donors that he’s heard from 14 heads of state from around the world who’ve voiced concerns to him about Trump. That list included Margaret Thatcher, he said, before correcting what he called a “Freudian slip,” that he was actually referring to current British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Biden is making a two-day campaign swing through South Carolina, which will hold the first primary in the south in the Democratic nomination race in February 2020.