Trump seizes on Biden’s re-election woes, mocks Harris as ‘insurance’

Republican contender sarcastically praises Biden for ‘brilliant decision’ to appoint Vice President Kamala Harris.

Trump has lashed out at Biden and Harris [Rebecca Blackwell/AP]
Corrects date to June 27 instead of January 27 in graf 9

Republican presidential contender Donald Trump has seized on the tumult surrounding United States President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, sarcastically praising the Democrat for choosing his vice president as an “insurance policy” against him being replaced.

Addressing supporters in Miami, Florida on Tuesday, Trump said Biden had made the “brilliant decision” to appoint Vice President Kamala Harris as his running mate to avoid any challenge to his faltering candidacy.

“If Joe had picked someone even halfway competent. They would have bounced him from office years ago, but they can’t because she’s got to be their second choice,” the former president said, claiming Democrats are having a “full-scale breakdown” over who should be the nominee.

Trump also challenged Biden to “redeem” himself after his stumbling debate performance last month by participating in another debate or a round of golf.

“Let’s do another debate this week so that sleepy Joe Biden can prove to everyone all over the world that he has what it takes to be president but this time, it will be man to man, no moderators, no holds barred, just name the place anytime, anywhere,” he said.

The Biden campaign said the president was too busy leading the country to respond to Trump’s “weird antics”.

“We’d challenge Donald Trump to create jobs, but he lost three million. We’d challenge Donald Trump to stand up to Putin, but he bent the knee to him,” Biden campaign spokesman James Singer said.

“We’d challenge Donald Trump to follow the law, but he breaks it.”

Biden and his team have been scrambling to assuage doubts about his electability since the June 27 debate, during which the 81-year-old Democrat repeatedly tripped over his words and appeared to lose his train of thought.

On Tuesday, Democratic lawmakers met privately to discuss Biden’s campaign amid persistent concerns about physical and mental fitness.

While top Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, reiterated their support for Biden, Mikie Sherrill, a House representative from New Jersey, became the seventh elected member of her party to publicly call on him to step aside.

Biden, who is trailing Trump nationally and in key swing states in the polls, has repeatedly dismissed calls for him to quit the race, and it is unlikely that Democrats would be able to force him out against his will.

Harris has been widely tipped as the most likely replacement for Biden if he does step aside, although she has not fared much better than her boss in the polls.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies