Trump blasts Biden as ‘grossly incompetent’

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Former President Trump on Thursday went on the attack against President Biden, questioning his competence and ability to do the job for a second term days after Biden officially announced his reelection campaign.

Trump spoke to supporters in Manchester, N.H., where he sounded like a candidate already campaigning for the general election: He referenced recent polls that showed him blowing away his prospective GOP primary competition and mocked some of those candidates, but his focus was largely on Biden with an eye toward a possible 2024 rematch.

The former president derided Biden as a “grossly incompetent” president who has “no idea what he’s doing.”

He bemoaned the inflation that has increased the cost of gasoline and other goods under Biden, pointed to the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and highlighted a gross domestic product (GDP) report released Thursday that found the economy grew at 1.1 percent in the first quarter of 2023 in making the case that Biden was not worthy of a second term.

“With such a calamitous presidency, it is almost inconceivable that Biden would even think of running for reelection,” he said.

While Trump openly questioned why he should have to participate in a primary debate this summer when he has such a substantial lead over other candidates, he said he was looking forward to a debate with Biden.

The former president, who throughout the 2020 campaign levied allegations of corruption against Biden and his family, told the crowd Thursday that he intended to “retire” the nickname “Crooked Hillary” for his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, and would instead apply it to Biden, referring to him as “Crooked Joe Biden.”

“I think this could be maybe the most important part of what I’m going to say,” Trump said as he rolled out the nickname.

Biden launched his campaign for reelection on Tuesday with a video that featured images of the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the Capitol in which Trump supporters tried to halt the certification of the 2020 election.

While Biden’s launch video did not mention Trump by name, it did reference “MAGA extremists” who pose a threat to democracy and basic freedoms.

“Trump’s lies won’t change the fact he holds the worst jobs record of any president since the Great Depression and rigged the economy for the ultra-wealthy and biggest corporations,” Democratic National Committee spokesperson Ammar Moussa said in a statement. “Trump’s stewardship of the economy was an abject disaster, in stark contrast to the over 12 million jobs the Biden-Harris administration has helped deliver for America in just two years.”

Thursday’s appearance marked Trump’s first official campaign event in New Hampshire, home of the first primary on the GOP calendar, since he launched his bid for the White House last November. He previously traveled to the state earlier this year for a New Hampshire Republican Party event.

Trump holds a wide lead in a slew of national polls that have been released in recent weeks, and a poll released late last month asking New Hampshire voters about a potential GOP primary field showed Trump with the support of 42 percent of respondents, giving him a 13-point advantage on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

The former president also took swipes at DeSantis and other potential primary rivals, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R). Both men are still mulling whether to run for president and have been outspoken critics of Trump, arguing if he is nominated he will not be able to win back the White House for Republicans.

But Trump’s main focus was on Biden, making clear that the former president would relish a rematch with the man who defeated him in 2020.

“The choice in this election is now between strength or weakness, between success or failure, between safety or anarchy, between peace or conflict, and prosperity or catastrophe,” Trump said. “With your vote on November 5th, 2024, we are going to crush Joe Biden at the ballot box, and we are going to settle our unfinished business.”

Updated at 10:16 p.m.

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