President Trump came to the defense of his potential 2020 rival Joe Biden on Sunday, disputing a characterization of the former vice president as a “rabid dog” who “must be beaten to death with a stick.”
That description came from the official North Korean news agency KCNA last Thursday. Trump responded with a tweet Sunday morning, acknowledging that Biden is “actually somewhat better than that.”
Mr. Chairman, Joe Biden may be Sleepy and Very Slow, but he is not a “rabid dog.” He is actually somewhat better than that, but I am the only one who can get you where you have to be. You should act quickly, get the deal done. See you soon! https://t.co/kO2k14lTf7— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2019
Biden has been critical of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, and of Trump’s efforts to make peace with “tyrants” including Kim. On Friday, Biden responded to the insult with a statement calling Kim a “murderous dictator.”
Comparisons of out-of-favor foreign leaders to rabid dogs is a specialty of North Korean political commentary. At an earlier period, when Kim and Trump were exchanging insults, including Kim’s barb calling Trump “a mentally deranged U.S. dotard,” KCNA also branded the American president a “rabid dog.” In May, the North Korean agency derided Biden as a “fool of low IQ.” Trump evidently did not consider that an insult worth responding to.
Trump himself is also partial to likening people he doesn’t like to dogs. Over the years, he has used the insult against rivals including Mitt Romney (“he choked like a dog”), Ted Cruz (he “lies like a dog”) and conservative writer Brent Bozell (came “begging for money like a dog”). He also called his former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman “that dog” (as well as “wacky,” “vicious,” “deranged” and a “lowlife”) after she turned on him with a book about her time in the White House.
Meanwhile, as Trump tries to coax Kim back to the bargaining table to actually conclude a nuclear treaty that he has already boasted about as one of his presidency’s crowning achievements, the president has been waging his own war of words against the Biden. Trump’s efforts to coerce the government of Ukraine into investigating the “corrupt” former vice president and his son are at the center of the impeachment inquiry.
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