Donald Trump says Joe Biden is ‘not nearly as smart as Hillary Clinton – but he’s more likable’ after watching rival’s convention speech – then says NANCY PELOSI could become president if there is a standoff over mail-in votes
- Trump compared his 2016 and 2020 opponents hours after Biden’s convention
- He said Clinton was ‘much smarter’
- But he allowed Biden was ‘more likable’
- Convention speeches focus on Biden’s empathy, with people talking about times he helped them or asked about their problems
- He later said Nancy Pelosi could become president if there is a stand-off over mail ballots
President Donald Trump said 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is ‘more likable’ than Hillary, hours after party officials orchestrated a four-day convention touting Biden’s empathy and faith.
But moments after Trump acknowledged a strength of his rival, he offered: ‘Who cares about personality?’
Trump brought up the contrast at a speech before a group of conservative leaders at the shrouded Center for National Policy, which met at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Virginia outside Washington, D.C.
‘Should I say it should I tell you?’ he asked the supportive crowd after raising the topic.
‘Clinton’s much smarter but not a likable person,’ President Trump said Friday, comparing Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. ‘Joe is not nearly as smart, but he’s more likable’
‘Clinton’s much smarter but not a likable person,’ he told the group. ‘Joe is not nearly as smart, but he’s more likable.’
Trump routinely attacks Biden’s intellect and claims he is deteriorating, but appeared to have at least seen the soft side of his personality after Thursday’s convention, where Biden’s wife and children testified to his loyalty. A separate video showed a 13-year old New Hampshire boy who Biden took time to share stories with about their shared struggles with stuttering.
‘Maybe I’d rather have the smarter person,’ Trump concluded. ‘Who cares about personality?’
Barack Obama famously told Clinton in a 2008 primary debate that ‘You’re likable enough,’ after Clinton was confronted with polling information about her likability. ‘Well that hurts my feelings,’ Clinton quipped after hearing the initial data.
Later in his remarks, Trump went on another attack on mail-in voting – this time raising the specter of a divided election he said would result in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi taking office on January 20.
Trump made repeated jokes and light comments during his speech, where he also said the country ‘may never be able to escape’ if the ‘radical left takes over the presidency’
‘There’s a theory,’ Trump said as he sketched out the scenario.
‘Crazy Nancy Pelosi would become president,’ he said, using his repeat insult for the California lawmaker, who he is known to have spoken to by phone only once amid the standoff over coronavirus funding.
‘Now I don’t know if it’s a theory or a fact but I said that’s not good,’ Trump added
‘That’s part of their whole act,’ Trump claimed, referencing Democratic pushes for expanded mail voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.
‘If you don’t have a choice that the speaker of the house become president.’ He said it would happen ‘either on the 20th’ or after.
‘Put that in the hopper. Add that to everything else,’ he said.
Trump raised the theory at a time when he continues to attack mail-in voting.
‘They all think I’m trying to steal the election. Just the opposite I want the fair results of the election,’ he said.
The Constitution provides for the House to certify the results of the election, with disputed elections decided on a basis where each state gets a vote. Disputes over counting the vote in certain states could lead to lawsuits, and both sides are preparing for them.
In the case of the contested 2000 election, the Supreme Court weighed in to stop the state recount of the results in Florida.
Biden has raised the prospect of Trump ‘trying to steal’ the election, but Pelosi said last moth there is a ‘process’ for dealing with the situation.
‘It has nothing to do with a certain occupant of the White House doesn’t feel like moving and has to be fumigated out of there,’ she said.
Trump and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany have turned down opportunities to say explicitly he would accept the results of the election.
Trump set off a round of on-line speculation when he floated the idea of delaying the election, although fact-checkers shot down the idea that Pelosi would become president if the election were delayed past Jan. 20, when the president’s term expires.