Biden and Trump have found themselves tangled in the same political mess. Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry for allegedly withholding aid from Ukraine in return for dirt on Biden. In turn, Biden is facing backlash for allowing his son to collect big checks from a Ukrainian natural gas firm while he served as a chief envoy for President Barack Obama — which is the basis for the scandal Trump wanted dirt on.
While Trump faces his own battle against Democrats at the Capitol, this scandal also leaves Biden vulnerable for attacks from his 2020 competitors as the ethical questions of allowing his son to accept those positions continue to linger.
His 2020 competitors may not be going for the jugular on this one quite yet, but Biden is making it clear that those who do question him will be compared to President Trump.
In a tweet posted Thursday, Biden showed part of a campaign speech where he claimed that those doubting his moral compass are playing into Trump’s hands.
Watch Biden’s clip below:
President Trump picked a fight with the wrong guy. pic.twitter.com/5s7izCLSzt
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 10, 2019
“A president who puts his own self-interest ahead of the public good and national security also poses a threat to each and every American in our daily lives. That’s what’s at stake in 2020. That’s why this election is so important. It’s why we’re not going to let Donald Trump pick the Democratic nominee for president. Period. I’m not going to let him get away with it. He’s picked a fight with the wrong guy.”
It remains unclear if any of Biden’s 2020 challengers will pounce on this obvious ethical vulnerability. The upcoming Democratic debate on Tuesday will likely provide his opponents with a time to question him on the national stage, but it is unclear if anyone will take that shot.
Both former Secretary Julián Castro and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) have gone on the offensive in past debates, meaning they may use this opportunity to clock Biden again.
The other debate wildcard, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), could have the stomach to launch such an attack if she ends up competing in the debate. As IJR reported earlier, Gabbard is considering boycotting the debate in protest of the Democratic National Committee.