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'He's in trouble': Trump taunts Biden as 'weak mentally' before candidates face off in Iowa

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In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Joe Biden addresses rhetoric used by Donald Trump, on May 1, 2019.
Kelsey Kremer, kkremer@dmreg.com

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden will hold dueling campaign appearances in Iowa Tuesday for the first time before the 2020 election. 

The fireworks began before either of them took the stage.

Before the president even left the White House, he blasted the Democratic presidential candidate as “weak mentally,” telling reporters that “I like running against people who are weak mentally.” 

Trump continued: “When a man has to mention my name 76 times in a speech, that means he’s in trouble.”

The president continued to criticize Biden’s age. 

“He looks different than he used to,” Trump told reporters. “He’s even slower than he used be.”

Trump turns 73 on Friday. Biden is 76. 

More: Trump vs. Biden in Iowa: Septuagenarian rivals try to demonstrate vigor 

Biden took his own hard whacks at Trump before his event.

“You know, Donald Trump and I are both in Iowa today. It wasn’t planned that way, but I hope Trump’s presence here will be a clarifying event,” Biden plans to say in Davenport, Iowa, Tuesday, according to excerpts of his remarks.

Biden will call Trump, who has singled Biden out of the massive presidential field as the target of his critiques, an “existential threat to America.”

He will say that Trump isn’t tough, isn’t a friend to farmers or auto companies and doesn’t understand the pain of tariffs.

“Trump doesn’t get the basics,” the former vice president is scheduled to say about the trade war the president has executed.

Biden is slated to critique Trump on health care, immigration, foreign policy and basic decency.

“Everywhere we turn, it’s clear that Trump is shredding what we believe in most,” Biden is to say during the second Iowa trip of his campaign. “I believe we have to restore those basic values.”

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Biden is currently an Iowa polling leader, according to a recent Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll. Twenty-four percent of Iowa’s likely Democratic caucusgoers say the former vice president is their first choice for president. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont senator, is the first choice for 16% of poll respondents, while Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts senator, and Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, are at 15% and 14% respectively. No other candidate cracked double digits.

Check back for continued coverage of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden in Iowa.

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  • Former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden energized supporters during a campaign stop in Des Moines on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.1 of 20
  • Former Vice President and current democratic presidential candidate hopeful Joe Biden energized supporters during a campaign stop in Des Moines on Wednesday, April 30, 2019.2 of 20
  • Former Vice President and current democratic presidential candidate hopeful Joe Biden poses for a selfie with supporters following his speech during a campaign stop in Des Moines on Wednesday, April 30, 2019.3 of 20
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd of people on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at the Grand River Conference Center in Dubuque. This is Biden's first trip to Iowa after announcing his run for president. 4 of 20
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd of people on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at the Grand River Conference Center in Dubuque. This is Biden's first trip to Iowa after announcing his run for president. 5 of 20
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd of people on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at the Grand River Conference Center in Dubuque. This is Biden's first trip to Iowa after announcing his run for president. 6 of 20
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden stopped for ice cream in Monticello, Iowa Tuesday.7 of 20
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden takes a selfie after speaking to a crowd of people on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids. This is Biden's first trip to Iowa after announcing his run for president. 8 of 20
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd of people on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids. This is Biden's first trip to Iowa after announcing his run for president. 9 of 20
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd of people on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids. This is Biden's first trip to Iowa after announcing his run for president. 10 of 20
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with people who came to hear him speak on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids. This is Biden's first trip to Iowa after announcing his run for president.11 of 20
  • Former United States Vice President Joe Biden fires up Democratic voters during a rally for gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell and first congressional district candidate Abby Finkenauer during a speech in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.12 of 20
  • Vice President Joe Biden conducts a round table discussion13 of 20
  • Vice President Joe Biden addresses supporters in Grinnell14 of 20
  • Vice President Joe Biden addresses supporters in Grinnell15 of 20
  • Vice President Joe Biden smiles after signing the bus16 of 20
  • President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden17 of 20
  • Vice President Joe Biden addresses supporters on Sept.18 of 20
  • President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden19 of 20
  • Joe Biden stops to talk with Dorothy Kennedy during20 of 20

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