23/09/2020

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden joked Friday that it’s nice to be “loved” by so many people as he ran through a litany of recent GOP attacks on him, saying President Trump and Republicans are fixated on damaging his presidential campaign.

FORT MADISON, Iowa — Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden joked Friday that it’s nice to be “loved” by so many people as he ran through a litany of recent GOP attacks on him, saying President Trump and Republicans are fixated on damaging his presidential campaign.
“I’ve been the object of their affection for a while,” Mr. Biden said. “I wonder why he’s so worried about me.”
He pointed to Mr. Trump’s pushing Ukraine to dig up dirt on him, as well as Sen. Joni Ernst’s recent comments about Mr. Biden in connection with the Senate impeachment trial and Sen. Rick Scott’s going on the air with an ad in Iowa that mentions him.
“It’s nice to be loved by so many people,” he said. “It’s kind of simple: they don’t want me to be the nominee.”
Mr. Biden held an event here at a Quality Inn & Suites as he was making a swing through the eastern part of the state ahead of Monday’s caucuses.
He was joined at the event by first-term U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer and former Iowa Gov. and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
“We know who he is. That is why I have his back in this, and it’s why I need you all to show up on caucus night and do the same,” Ms. Finkenauer said, saying that Mr. Trump is “terrified” to face Mr. Biden.
A few attendees said they were fans of both Mr. Biden and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
“It’s so important this time to get Trump replaced that I would like to see a Biden-Buttigieg ticket, I think,” said Bob Chesnut, 64, a retired deputy sheriff from Wever.
Mr. Chesnut said Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont doesn’t fall as much in line with Midwestern conservative values, which he said would hurt Mr. Sanders in a general matchup against Mr. Trump.
Mr. Biden has been jockeying with Mr. Sanders for the top slot in recent public polling on the state and is under pressure to put up a good showing on Monday
Mr. Sanders held a one-point edge over Mr. Biden in a national NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of Democratic primary voters released on Saturday.
It marked a six-point bump for Mr. Sanders compared to last month. And 60% of Sanders supporters said they definitely plan to vote for him, compared to 48% of Biden voters who said they would definitely vote for the former vice president.
Mr. Trump was impeached for allegedly pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on Mr. Biden by threatening to withhold military assistance from the country.
The president and his allies have pushed back by raising questions about Mr. Biden’s son Hunter Biden and the sweetheart gig he had on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president.
In the past 24 hours, several key GOP senators have come out against extending the Senate impeachment trial to hear from additional witnesses, paving the way for an acquittal of Mr. Trump after the House voted to impeach him in December.
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