Biden campaign slams Trump for criticizing former vice president on foreign soil

Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hits Biden for 1994 crime bill support Will top 2020 Democrats make ending war in Afghanistan a defining issue or an afterthought? Nevada emerges as wild card in 2020 Democratic race MORE‘s campaign on Tuesday issued a sharp response to President TrumpDonald John TrumpCitizenship and Immigration Services union blasts Trump’s pick to head agency Texas secretary of state resigns after botched voter purge Trump hits Biden for 1994 crime bill support MORE‘s criticism of the former vice president while on a state visit to Japan, calling the president’s attacks on his potential 2020 rival “beneath the dignity of the office.”

Biden’s office waited for Trump to land in the United States before issuing the statement, a nod toward the old adage that criticism stops while the president is abroad.

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“To be on foreign soil, on Memorial Day, and to side repeatedly with a murderous dictator against a fellow American and former Vice President speaks for itself,” deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said in a statement. “And it’s part of a pattern of embracing autocrats at the expense of our institutions – whether taking Putin’s word at face value in Helsinki or exchanging ‘love letters’ with Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnPence honors fallen US service members at Arlington National Cemetery Bremmer apologizes after Trump tweet on ‘completely ludicrous’ quote Trump knocks Ian Bremmer for ‘completely ludicrous quote’ MORE.”

While in Japan, Trump repeatedly criticized Biden on Twitter and during a press conference alongside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The president said multiple times that he agreed with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s assessment that Biden was a “low IQ” individual.

The Trump campaign countered Biden’s statement by attacking his foreign policy record.

“That’s rich coming from Joe Biden, who bashed President Trump while standing on foreign soil earlier this year in Germany,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement.

Murtaugh was referring to comments from Biden during the Munich Security Conference in February, where the former vice president chastised the Trump administration’s foreign policy and practice of separating migrant families in his remarks without explicitly naming Trump. The president was not traveling at the time.

Murtaugh went on to cite the Obama administration’s efforts to broker a nuclear pact with Iran, as well its failure to uphold its “red line” in Syria as examples of “siding with a murderous dictator” as Biden suggested Trump had done with Kim. 

“From the Iraq war to the Russia reset, Joe Biden has been wrong on virtually every foreign policy call in the last four decades,” Murtaugh said. “Just ask former Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates.”

Trump has been fixated on Biden since the former vice president entered the 2020 race, tweeting repeatedly about him and predicting that he would be the eventual Democratic nominee.

While in Japan, the president sided with Kim in his criticisms and targeted Biden over his support of a 1994 crime bill.

“Kim Jong Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low IQ individual. He probably is based on his record. I think I agree with him on that,” Trump said while standing alongside Abe at a press conference in Tokyo.

Asked in a follow-up question whether he was siding with a foreign dictator over a former U.S. vice president, Trump stood firm.

“I don’t take sides as to who I’m in favor of, who I’m not,” Trump added. “But I can tell you that Joe Biden was a disaster. His administration with President Obama, they were basically a disaster when it came to so many things.”

Biden is leading polls in the Democratic primary, and has argued he is the Democrat with the best chance of defeating Trump. He is leading Trump in some polls of a hypothetical 2020 match-up.

The attacks by Trump on Biden also appear to have helped the former vice president’s campaign.

Biden’s campaign sent out an email Tuesday afternoon fundraising off of Trump’s latest attacks, arguing the president is “rattled” and “going so far as to side with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.”

Updated at 4:23 p.m.

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