Washington: US President Joe Biden assailed his predecessor Donald Trump for latter's remarks that the economy had tanked under the Democrats, saying the voters are tired of being played for suckers and pointed to facts that showed the economy was actually growing.
President Biden also pointed out the latest GDP figures showed the economy was growing.
"The bottom line is our economy has grown more in the last six months than it ever did at any point in Trump's entire four years in office," President Biden claimed, referencing the recent gross domestic product report that showed 2.5 per cent growth in 2023.
Biden continued to remark on what might become a mainstay of his re-election bid: touting his record in office and leading supporters in a chant of "a promise made, and a promise kept!"
President Biden told invitees at the South Carolina Democratic Party's 'First In the Nation Dinner' on Saturday that they are personally responsible for vaulting him into the White House in 2020 and ousting Trump. "You (Trump) are the loser," the President said.
Biden's comments came just a week before the Democrats cast votes in the party's first sanctioned primary contest of the 2024 election cycle, wrapped up a whirlwind tour of campaigning from a number of the president's top surrogates, Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA), Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison, and Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), a co-chairman of Biden's re-election effort.
The president opened his speech by thanking the voters of South Carolina, without whom he "wouldn't be here", before immediately calling Trump a loser, media reports said. "If you ever doubt that the power to change America is in your hands, remember this: You proved it," he said. "You're the reason I am president. You're the reason Kamala Harris is a historic vice president, and you're the reason Donald Trump is a defeated former president. You're the reason Trump is a loser." He was widely quoted in the media as saying.
Biden as on previous occasions was interrupted by a string of protesters calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. They were drowned out by chants of "four more years" from others in the room. The President's speech continued to hammer the likely Republican presidential nominee, claiming that voters are "tired of being played for suckers" by Trump on the economy.
Though Biden himself has been under fire for his cognitive functions, he made a fierce attack with a hit back on Trump's mental functions. Saturday's speech saw some of the sharpest attacks on Trump's "mental fitness" the president has made till date. Biden, 81, recounted a recent blunder Trump, 77, made on the campaign trail.
"By the way, have you noticed he's a little confused these days?" Biden told the crowd. "Trump apparently can't tell apart Nikki Haley and Nancy Pelosi."
Biden criticised Trump's past comments about World War II veterans attacking him for recently saying he hoped the economy would crash before the election and countered with a fresh nickname that "Donald 'Herbert Hoover' Trump" is just one of two presidents to exit office with fewer jobs than when he entered. "Folks, there are truths, and there are lies. Lies told for power. Lies told for profit. We must call out these lies with a voice that is clear and unyielding," Biden said referencing Trump's false claims about the 2020 election.
"We must stand with the truth and defeat the lies, and when we do, we'll be able to look back and say something few have been able to say. When America's democracy was at risk, we saved it. Are you with me? Let's finish what we started." The Washington Examiner quoted him as saying.
Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), Biden's only lead challenger for the Democratic nomination, also spoke at Saturday's dinner. Phillips opened his remarks by joking about how 95 per cent of Democratic South Carolinians will be voting for Biden, "including most of you in this room," before urging the president to "pass the torch to a new generation ready to take the stage."
"Many in this country, in this state, in this very room have been told to stand in line and wait your turn," Phillips said. "Not in America when we have a man like Donald Trump coming back to the White House. I love you all, and no matter what, whether it's President Biden, whether it's me, or whether it's somebody else this November, we have got to do everything we can to energise, to mobilise, and get people out to vote."
Biden's campaign looks to the Palmetto State as a chance for Biden to re-energise a Democratic base, and black voters in particular, that appears to be souring on both Biden's age and economic stewardship, even as Republican voters swing around Trump.
"President Biden and Vice President Harris have delivered historic funding for HBCUs to the tune of $7 billion, brought black unemployment to a record low, increased black wealth by 60 per cent since before the pandemic, and so much more," Biden's principal deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks said in a statement. "Our message is clear: we won't take any voter for granted and will be showing up, investing, and earning every single vote to win this November." (IANS)