So far, President Trump's notorious feud with the former vice president has primarily consisted of boasts about how they could beat each other up. But now the president is honing in on other forms of attack. Trump insulted Joe Biden during a CBS interview released Thursday, saying that Obama "took him out of the garbage heap" and suggesting that he would enjoy running against Biden if he makes a presidential bid in 2020.
"President Obama took him out of the garbage heap, and everyone was surprised he did," Trump told CBS. "I dream about Biden. That's a dream." He suggested that he felt confident about beating any of the people whose names have been frequently brought up as his potential 2020 challengers.
"I'd like to run against any one of them, but Biden never by himself could never do anything," Trump said. He brought up the vice president's failed presidential bids in 1988 and 2008 as evidence that Biden doesn't have what it takes to succeed.
Biden's name has long been floated as a top contender for the Democratic ticket, and CNN ranked him as the most likely nominee on Thursday. For his part, Biden continues to say that he's considering a run but hasn't made a final decision. "I know I have to make up my mind and I have to do it by January," he said earlier this week.
Trump told CBS that Biden "never got more than 1 percent" when he ran for president. That's true — Biden won less than 1 percentage point in the 2008 Iowa caucus (he dropped out immediately after) and ended his 1988 bid before any races had taken place.
He had fared slightly better in opinion polls. Before he dropped out in 1987, Iowa surveys had him around 10 percent. A national poll taken by The New York Times and CBS around the same time was worse, indicating that only 3 percent of the country saw him favorably.
These days Biden enjoys a much better national opinion. A Harvard CAPS/Harris survey last month indicated that 32 percent of Democrats supported the idea of him running for president, the highest of any potential candidate listed. Behind Biden was Hillary Clinton at 18 percent (though it isn't thought to be likely that she'll enter the race), Bernie Sanders at 16 percent, and Elizabeth Warren at 10 percent.
Biden served as a senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009. In addition to those two presidential runs, he considered joining the field in 2016 but decided against it because of the recent death of his son Beau, from which he said he was still recuperating.
Biden has butted heads with the president many times in the past. Shortly after the Access Hollywood tape came out, the former VP said of Trump, "I wish we were in high school — I could take him behind the gym." At a rally a few days later, Trump said that he would "love" to fight Biden, adding, "You know when he's Mr. Tough Guy? When he's standing behind a microphone by himself."
They've brought up again the idea since then. A month before the 2016 election, Trump said he could bowl over Biden with "just a little bit of a puff." In March he reiterated that he could "kick his ass," to which Biden replied that he would have "beat the hell out" of Trump, to which Trump replied that Biden "would go down fast and hard." One can only imagine how this back-and-forth would escalate if the two were to compete against each other in 2020.
When Biden declined to run for president in 2016, Trump said he'd rather have Clinton as an opponent anyway and implied that she'd be easier to beat because of her "bad record." More recently, perhaps in response to these volleyed taunts, he seems to have changed his tune. He now claims that Biden as an opponent would be a true "dream."