It’s been a typically chaotic week at the White House, as Donald Trump and Congress have struggled to finalize an omnibus spending bill and aides have dealt with the fallout from the president’s decision to congratulate Vladimir Putin for winning a rigged election. Facing these issues and a budding trade war with China, the president spent the early morning tweeting about how he would beat Biden in a fight.
Trump appears to be responding to a remark from Biden, who told a crowd in Miami this week: “When a guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, ‘I can grab a woman anywhere and she likes it’ and then said, ‘I made a mistake. ... They asked me would I like to debate this gentleman, and I said no. I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.’”
As far as trash talk goes, it’s pretty convoluted: Biden says he would have beaten up Trump if the two were in high school together and Trump made the kinds of comments that he made in the Access Hollywood tape. In the same speech, Biden also took aim at Trump’s “locker room talk” defense, saying, “I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms my whole life. I’m a pretty damn good athlete. Any guy who talked that way was usually the fattest, ugliest S.O.B. in the room.”
Biden, who may be preparing to run for president in 2020, has a certain knack, I guess, for sinking to Trump’s level. But setting aside the very sad thought of two septuagenarians trading blows behind a high school gym, Trump’s tweets are revealing. He will respond to every challenge, no matter how dumb.