Sarah Sanders blames Joe Biden for 'allowing Russia to interfere in our election'

White House sharpens attacks against 2020 Democratic frontrunner

Chris Riotta
New York
Tuesday 11 June 2019 17:37
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Trump says that Kim Jong-un called Joe Biden a 'low IQ individual'

The White House has sharpened its attacks against Joe Biden as the former vice president continues to hold a clear frontrunner status in the 2020 Democratic primaries.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary under Donald Trump, lambasted Mr Biden on Tuesday during a press gaggle outside of the White House, blaming him in part for Russian interference in the 2016 election and China’s economic growth.

“I’m sure Biden has a lot of questions he needs to answer himself,” the press secretary told reporters when asked about the his upcoming speech in Iowa later that night. Both the president and Mr Biden were scheduled to deliver speeches in Iowa on Tuesday.

Mr Biden “was part of the administration that allowed Russia to interfere in our election,” Ms Sanders continued, also blaming the previous White House for allowing “China to continue to grow.”

The press secretary’s comments arrived hours before Mr Biden was set to give the speech that would effectively kick off his ground game in Iowa. An advanced copy of his remarks obtained by The Independent showed the former vice president was planning on calling out Mr Trump at least 76 times by name.

Mr Biden was planning on referring to Mr Trump as an “existential threat” on Tuesday in a speech that also aimed to paint the president as weak on China.

“While Trump is tweeting, China is making massive investments in technologies of the future,” Mr Biden was expected to say. “You bet I’m worried about China — if we keep following Trump’s path.”

By focusing virtually all of his criticisms against the current White House rather than his fellow Democratic opponents, Mr Biden has positioned himself in a race solely against Mr Trump, who has in turn responded with name-calling and Twitter attacks.

The president called Mr Biden a “low IQ individual” while on foreign soil last month — criticising US leadership is a rare step for American politicians to take while travelling abroad — and has also referred to him as “Sleepy Joe Biden” and “Swampman Joe Biden” online.

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Mr Biden, meanwhile, has continued leading the pack of Democrats vying for a shot at the White House in Iowa, with a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN Iowa poll showing the former vice president with 24 per cent of support among the state’s likely Democratic caucus goers.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders trails behind him at 16 per cent, while Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and California Senator Kamala Harris round out the top five candidates with 15 per cent, 14 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

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