Derided by President Donald Trump as “Sleepy Joe,” former Vice President Joe Biden, now a Democratic presidential candidate, said that if Trump mocks him during a debate, he will issue a challenge then and there.
“I’d say, ‘C’mon Donald, c’mon man. How many push-ups do you want to do here, pal?’” Biden told host Mika Brzezinski during an MSNBC interview that aired Tuesday morning.
Biden was responding to Brzezinski’s question of how the former VP would react if Trump mocked his age or mental state.
“I mean, jokingly,” Biden admitted.
The remark set Twitter aflutter at the spectacle of Biden, who is now 76, doing push-ups against Trump, who is 73.
Biden says he might challenge President Trump to a push-up contest.
— Washington Post Live (@postlive) July 16, 2019
happy to announce that i have joined the Biden campaign as push-up program strategist. joe will be up to 5 regular or 10 cheat by his first debate w Trump!!! https://t.co/ByEo5WLVPK
— yung RX bar (@xX_niceguy_Xx) July 16, 2019
I can’t fathom the depths of sadness that would surround a Trump/Biden push-up competition
— Ian Bowers (@iggdawg) July 16, 2019
So @JoeBiden first says he wants to beat up bullies with his fists and have push-up contests to show us what a manly man he is.
This is sexist posturing that perpetuates toxic masculinity as a qualification of a “strong leader”.
Tough grip handshakes https://t.co/lDBFQnypGa
— Paul Kingsley (@PaulKingsley7) July 16, 2019
Biden said he challenges those who get in his face at public events.
“You know, come on, run with me, man. it’s like I was in a parade in Independence, Missouri. And I always run in parades… and a fellow from Independence who was a Trump supporter said, ‘Hey sleepy Joe!’ I said, ‘Come run with me, Jack. Come on man!”
During the interview, Biden said he will not “get down in the dirt” with Trumpbecause that’s “the only place he knows how to fight.”
“I’m just gonna continue to talk about what he’s doing. Why it’s so damaging to America,” Biden said. “And as my mother would say, I’m not gonna take any guff from him.”
“I’m used to bullies and so my strategy is, just to go out and remember that famous expression my grandpop used to use … they said to Harry Truman, ‘Give them hell Harry.’ He said, ‘No, I’m just going to tell them the truth. They’re going to think it’s hell,’” Biden replied.
Biden said his approach to Trump will be radically different than the weak response he offered during a primary debate when fellow candidate Sen. Kamala Harris of California slammed his record on civil rights.
“I know it will be an ugly campaign. I know it will be, not an honorable campaign he’ll run, but I’m not backing down at all from him. Very different than turning to someone on a stage who says something so off the wall to me that — and it’s — because I don’t want to attack anyone on the stage. It’s not what I intend to do, but I realize that some have concluded that because I didn’t respond very tough back to [Harris] that — how can I take on Trump. I’ve never had any trouble taking on anyone from Trump to Putin to Xi Jinping or anybody else,” he said.
Biden had earlier told told CNN that he expected to be attacked, but not by Harris and not over his civil rights record.
“I was prepared for them to come after me, but I wasn’t prepared for the person coming at me the way she came at me,” Biden said.
“The idea that I’d be intimidated by Donald Trump,” Biden said. “He’s the bully that I knew my whole life. He’s the bully that I’ve always stood up to. He’s the bully that used to make fun when I was a kid that I stutter, and I’d smack him in the mouth.”