Donald Trump and Joe Biden are not friends, that much is clear. The two men spent this week boasting about each would beat up the other if they ever got into a fistfight. It isn't even the first time Trump and Biden, both men in their 70s, have talked about brawling. Those threats date back to the 2016 election. Trump and Biden quotes about one another show there was no love lost between these two politicians even before this most recent tiff.
While speaking at a rally against sexual assault and gender-based violence at the University of Miami on Tuesday, former Vice President Biden told students he'd "beat the hell out of" Trump if the two men were back in high school. "Any guy that talked that way was usually the fattest, ugliest S.O.B. in the room," Biden said, in reference to Trump dismissing his lewd comments about women as "locker room talk."
On Thursday morning, Trump tweeted Biden was "crazy" and "weak, both mentally and physically." The president also claimed Biden would "go down fast and hard, crying all the way."
Biden had made a similar comment in 2016 while campaigning for Hillary Clinton, telling the crowd at a Pennsylvania rally that he wished he was in high school so "I could take [Trump] behind the gym." In a speech of his own, Trump had responded that he'd "love" to fight Biden, accusing the then-vice president of only being "Mr. Tough Guy" when "standing behind a microphone."
Biden was clearly not on team Trump during the election, and his public criticisms have continued into Trump's presidency. Earlier this month, Biden reportedly accused Trump of dumbing down America's values while speaking in North Dakota. According to Grand Forks Herald reporter Sam Easter, Biden questioned how someone serving in America's highest office could make fun of others for how they look, for their weight, or for their disability. "Think about how that dumbs down the values that we Americans have," Biden said, according to Easter.
In February, Biden called Tump "a joke" during an interview on CNN, adding that he "marvels at some of the things [Trump] says and does." And in another speech given that same month, Biden said he viewed Trump's presidency as "a tragedy in two acts." The first half of that tragedy, Biden claimed, was how Trump's "ugly and phony populism" was testing America's "moral fabric." The second half revolved around how Trump's behavior was distracting lawmakers from the real work that needed to be done.
The former vice president also recently criticized Trump's handling of White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter's resignation following allegations of domestic abuse. At the time, Trump appeared to defend Porter's innocence, telling reporters, "He says he's innocent and you have to remember that." Trump also praised Porter for working "very hard" and doing "a very good job."
"That's like saying: 'That ax murderer over there – he's a great painter!'" Biden said a few days later while in Indiana, according to Deadline.com. "Is there any other crime where there could be the explanation, the reason why we should not pay attention to the transgression is because they're good at something?"
In November, Biden accused Trump of being a "charlatan" who played on the fears of middle-class voters. And in January 2017, he warned Trump was "damaging" the United States' standing in the world by publicly questioning and criticizing U.S. intelligence. According to The Los Angeles Times, Biden told reporters he thought Vice President Mike Pence was "significantly more informed" than Trump when it came to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But Biden isn't the only one lobbying criticisms. In October 2016, Trump copy-and-pasted a tweet linking to an article accusing Biden of having a "long history of grabbing, kissing, and groping women who are cringing." A few months before that, Trump took to Twitter to claim Biden was "not very bright" after the former vice president accused him of wanting to "carpet bomb" the Middle East. While Trump never used the phrase "carpet bomb" (those were Sen. Ted Cruz's words), he did repeatedly say he would "bomb the sh*t out of them."
In 2015, roughly a month after Trump officially announced his candidacy, the real estate mogul suggested he'd defeat Biden in an election because he "hadn't been involved in plagiarism" like Biden had. Biden admitted in 1987 to having plagiarized an article while in his first year of law school.
One might think Trump and Biden could potentially find common ground around their experiences in the White House, but their history seems to suggest otherwise. Given their record of spats, it seems safe to say these two politicians won't be building a bipartisan friendship anytime soon.