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Joe Biden launches White House campaign with hard-hitting attack on ‘divider-in-chief’ Trump

2019-05-19

Former US vice president Joe Biden speaks during the kick off his presidential election campaign in Philadelphia on Saturday. (DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

No more Mr. Nice Joe.

Joe Biden took off the gloves and came out swinging against President Trump in a fiery launch to his 2020 campaign.

Whipping off his aviator sunglasses and tossing aside a blue blazer, Biden lit into Trump as a “divider-in-chief” who is ruining American democracy and sowing hatred.

“Let’s stop fighting and start fixing,” he told a friendly crowd in Philadelphia. “Let’s beat Trump.”

Biden rolled up his sleeves and vowed to avoid criticizing any of the 23 other Democrats running to take on Trump in November.

Perhaps the biggest applause lines came when he reminded the crowd that he worked for eight years as President Obama’s trusted lieutenant.

Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden speak during the kick off former US vice president Biden's presidential election campaign in Philadelphia.
Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden speak during the kick off former US vice president Biden's presidential election campaign in Philadelphia. (DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Biden, who grew up in Scranton and represented Delaware in the Senate, lashed out at Trump for taking credit for the strong economy, asserting that Trump is little more that an entitled, rich, trust-fund kid.

“He inherited it, just like he inherited everything else,” Biden said.

Along with the anti-Trump red meat, Biden portrayed himself as a pragmatic leader who could get things done in Washington. He touted his victory with Obama in passing the Affordable Care Act and the stimulus package that lifted the nation out of the financial crisis.

Biden has taken a strong early lead in polls. Many Democrats see him as the strongest candidate to take on Trump, especially with his proven ability to win a coalition of working-class white voters, liberals and African Americans.

But Biden is fending off questions about the enthusiasm that he inspires among voters. That issue was not put to rest by the launch, which drew a modest crowd on a picture-perfect spring day. Television shots showed garbage trucks and empty streets behind Biden in downtown Philadelphia and a crowd with space to spare.