Tags: joe biden | donald trump | kim jong un

Biden: Trump's 'Short and Fat' Jibe 'Beneath the Office'


By    |   Monday, 13 November 2017 10:25 AM

President Donald Trump's tweet that he'd never call North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "short and fat" was a "big mistake" that fell beneath the dignity of the presidential office, former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday.

"People are listening," Biden told an audience during a question-and-answer session on NBC's "Today" show.

 "Our leaders have an impact on attitudes. I just think it's a big mistake, and it's beneath the office."

On Sunday, Trump tweeted he "would NEVER" call Kim "short and fat," even though he tried to be the North Korean leader's friend.

"Why would Kim Jong-Un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?' Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend and maybe someday that will happen!" Trump tweeted from Hanoi, Vietnam, which he visited as part of his tour of Asia.

"When your children hear a president referring to anybody that way, I mean, our children are listening," said Biden, on the program to promote his new book, "Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose."

"These things matter," Biden continued. "It's just not an appropriate way. Every president I've known, and I've known eight, they understand there's an obligation and a sense of dignity about the office...we are admired, not just for the exercise of our power, but the power of our example, and it matters, the way we conduct our discourse. It matters the way in which we talk."

Biden, answering an audience member's question about what he thinks Trump is doing right, said he does believe there is a "number of things" the president does well, but he is concerned about the administration's tone.

When "Today" co-anchor Matt Lauer pushed Biden for a concrete answer, he quickly responded that he thinks Trump "married very well," and continued that he was having trouble thinking of any specific thing.

"I'm not being a wise guy," said Biden, "but there's a lot of the country that's still functioning. For example, the choice of keeping the military personnel that we left behind in place in the Middle East was very, very important. He hasn't changed that policy. He's continued that policy. I think he's doing that very well. He's pursuing the way they're beginning to try to organize the military. It's mostly the military men around him that have been the stable factors for the conduct of the foreign policy. A lot of bravado, but he hasn't changed a whole lot so far."

The former vice president, whose name is frequently being mentioned as a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, also spoke out about gun control in the wake of last Sunday's church massacre in Texas.

"First of all, the kind of gun being carried, he shouldn't be carrying," Biden said of church shooter Devin Kelley. "It's rational to say certain people shouldn't have guns, some people with guns are legally able to acquire a gun and they're crazy after the fact, that's life. There's nothing you can do about that. But we can save a lot of lives and we stopped tens of thousands of people from getting guns who shouldn't have guns."

Biden said he still does talk with former President Barack Obama, and they don't complain about politics but they do "strategize" about how to keep certain things from happening, such as repealing the Affordable Care Act.

"We were engaged with the Congress and with others as to a strategy to prevent that from being unraveled," said Biden. "It's prevented from being completely unraveled at least. In terms of, did you hear what he just did kind of thing, no. We're realistic. We both know that the tone was set even before the president was -- before the present president was sworn in."

Meanwhile, Biden conceded that Trump won the election "fair and square" by the Electoral College, but the win was "no landslide," after an audience member asked what Democrats should have done differently in 2016.

"But for 172,000 votes, we wouldn't be having this conversation," said Biden.

He does think, though, that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had difficulty getting her message out about the middle class, even though she tried.

"I think we have to respond and let them know there's significant hope," said Biden. "We're in better position than any nation to own the 21st century. No. We really are. That's not hyperbole. I think we have to speak more directly to the legitimate concerns of the middle class. Black, white, Asian, it's not just white high school-educated guys and women, it's across the board."

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President Donald Trump's tweet that he'd never call North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "short and fat" was a "big mistake" that fell beneath the dignity of the presidential office, former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday.
joe biden, donald trump, kim jong un
Monday, 13 November 2017 10:25 AM
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