Biden has been a fierce critic of Trump’s handling of the outbreak and the ad juxtaposed Trump playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., and the death toll numbers.
“Nearly 100,000 lives have been lost, and tens of millions are out of work,” Biden tweeted. “Meanwhile, the president spent his day golfing.”
Trump took to Twitter himself to call out “Sleepy Joe.”
He said Biden’s team apparently thinks he “should stay in the White House at all times.”
“What they didn’t say is that it’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months, that Biden was constantly vacationing, relaxing & making shady deals with other countries, & that Barack [Obama] was always playing golf, doing much of his traveling in a fume spewing 747 to play in Hawaii—Once even teeing off immediately after announcing the gruesome death of a great young man by ISIS!”
Trump did not specify the instance. But in 2014, then-President Obama faced criticism over his reaction to the death of James Foley, an American journalist. The New York Times reported at the time that Obama spoke with Foley’s parents and as soon as “the cameras went off,” he headed to a golf course on Martha’s Vineyard. The paper reported, “He spent the rest of the afternoon on the links even as a firestorm of criticism erupted over what many saw as a callous indifference to the slaughter he had just condemned.”
Trump critics likely see Biden engaging in the same technique Trump has employed to damage political rivals. Mediate pointed out that Trump has long criticized Obama for playing golf during his presidency.
“President Obama has a major meeting on the N.Y.C. Ebola outbreak, with people flying in from all over the country, but decided to play golf!” Trump wrote in 2014.
The Twitter exchange may be a preview of what is still to come before the 2020 elections. Trump has recently tried to go on the offensive over the unmasking tied to the Gen. Michael Flynn case. He told Fox News exclusively last week that the Russia probe was the “greatest political crime in the history of our country.”
Biden was recently asked by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos about the Obama administration’s investigation into Flynn and about a mystery Jan. 5, 2017 meeting at the Oval Office. He said he was “aware that there was—that they asked for an investigation, but that’s all I know about it, and I don’t think anything else…”
The 2020 election will likely hinge on the way the public perceives Trump’s handling of the virus. Democrats, like Biden, have been critical of what they said was a slow response and inconsistent messaging. Biden wrote in the Washington Post earlier this month that Trump has failed to unify the country and instead “is reverting to a familiar strategy of deflecting blame and dividing Americans.”
Trump said his early travel ban with China saved lives. He launched “Operation Warp Speed” in an effort to create and distribute a coronavirus vaccine by combining the military, private industry and other government agencies.
Trump said one of his top priorities is getting the country reopened.
The Associated Press contributed to this report