President Joe Biden slammed his predecessor Donald Trump’s aggressive rhetoric, including the use of the word “vermin” to describe opponents, which has been compared to that of fascist leaders Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
Mr Trump, 77, spoke in Claremont, New Hampshire, telling the crowd in his usual grievance-laden parlance: “We pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country that lie and steal and cheat on elections.”
The former president has refused to accept the results of the 2020 election and continues to lie, falsely claiming that it was stolen.
“They’ll do anything, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America and to destroy the American Dream,” Mr Trump said.
The former president referred to himself as a “very proud election denier”. He also took aim at his deepening legal woes, again targeting the judge in his civil fraud trial in New York and going after Special Counsel Jack Smith. Mr Trump claimed that the prosecutions against him were politically motivated.
Mr Biden slammed Mr Trump’s rhetoric while speaking to campaign donors on Tuesday, saying that Mr Trump was using comparable language to the Nazis and that he would use his possible return to power for “revenge and retribution”.
“There’s a lot of reasons to be against Donald Trump,” Mr Biden said after arriving in San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit (APEC) where he’ll meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping face-to-face for the first time in a year as they attempt to restore military communications and improve economic ties.
“There’s a lot of reasons to be against Donald Trump, but damn he shouldn’t be president,” Mr Biden said, according to a pool report.
Mr Biden noted that the use of the word “vermin” was “a specific phrase because it’s just a specific meaning” that he said was similar to “language you heard in Nazi Germany in the ’30s”.
The president also mentioned Mr Trump saying that undocumented immigrants were “poisoning the blood of our country”.
“Trump also recently talked about blood of America has been poisoned. The blood in America has been poisoned,” Mr Biden said, CNN reported. “Again, echoes the same phrases used in Nazi Germany.”
Mr Biden also went after the Republican 2024 frontrunner for taking aim at Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was gravely injured in a hammer attack by a deranged home invader at their San Francisco residence last year.
This week, Mr Pelosi, 83, appeared in federal court speaking publicly about the ordeal for the first time.
“On more than one occasion in recent weeks, he’s made a joke about the assaults on Nancy Pelosi’s husband,” Mr Biden said of Mr Trump. “There’s no place in America for political violence.”
The president blamed Mr Trump, who appointed three rightwing Supreme Court Justices, for the overturning of Roe v Wade, saying that “the only reason there is an abortion ban in America is because of Donald Trump”.
“The only reason that fundamental right was stripped away from American people for the first time in American history is because of Donald Trump,” the president added. “And just as all his Republican friends have found out about the power of women in America, Donald Trump is about to find out about the power of women.”
Mr Biden called last week’s election results “a pretty good day for Joe”.
“What happened in those races is not unusual in the kind, in the continuation of what we saw in 2020 when we were told we weren’t gonna win,” Mr Biden told his donors, according to CNN. “And again 2022, when we were supposed to get wiped out, remember? But some pundits said the same thing.”
“Folks, this is the Biden-Harris agenda. And that agenda not only is popular, people are voting for it,” he added. “Winning elections over and over again. The press and pundits can keep being surprised as much as they want. But since I came off the sidelines to go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump, we haven’t stopped running and he hasn’t stopped losing.”
“Remember when Trump told us he was going to win so much we’d get tired of winning?” Mr Biden asked. “Oh, man. I shouldn’t get started. Let me tell you one thing is true. We got tired of Trump. Truth is, the guy can’t get tired of losing.”
Mr Trump employing the word “vermin” was criticised by historians speaking to The Washington Post.
New York University historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat wrote to the paper that “calling people ‘vermin’ was used effectively by Hitler and Mussolini to dehumanize people and encourage their followers to engage in violence”.
“Trump is also using projection: note that he mentions all kinds of authoritarians ‘communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left’ to set himself up as the deliverer of freedom,” she said. “Mussolini promised freedom to his people too and then declared dictatorship.”
The spokesperson for the Trump campaign, Steven Cheung, told the paper that “those who try to make that ridiculous assertion are clearly snowflakes grasping for anything because they are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome and their entire existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House”.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies