Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024 | 9:18 p.m.
President Joe Biden had sharp criticism for his likely general election opponent during a rally in Las Vegas’ Historic Westside on Sunday, telling supporters “we’ll make Donald Trump a loser again.”
His remarks to about 400 people lasted roughly 30 minutes, with the president touting his first-term policy accomplishments, a growing economy and the dangers of a possible second Trump presidency.
He was in town ahead of Tuesday’s presidential preference primary, where he’s expected to earn a convincing win.
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you,” Biden said at the Pearson Community Center. “You’re the reason I’m President of the United States. You’re the reason Kamala Harris is a historic vice president, and you’re the reason Donald Trump is a former president. And you’re the reason we’ll make Donald Trump a loser again.”
Biden referred to his predecessor as “Donald Hoover Trump” in light of an interview last month in which Trump predicted an economic crash and said he hoped it would happen before he would take office in 2025. Trump said in that same interview he does not want to be known as another Hoover, who was president at the start of the Great Depression.
Biden was animated in his jabs at Trump, especially over reported comments Trump had made about fallen soldiers. Trump repeatedly called fallen soldiers “suckers” and “losers” during his presidency, the Atlantic reported.
“I’m glad I wasn’t there,” Biden said. “To call my son, and your sons and daughters who gave their lives for this country, suckers and losers? That’s how this guy thinks. Who the hell does he think he is?”
Biden cited the most recent jobs report (in which the U.S. added more than 350,000 jobs) to illustrate the health of the economy and the roughly 40,000 infrastructure projects he says are underway as a result of the bipartisan infrastructure bill he signed into law.
Biden said 15 million jobs added since taking office in January 2021 — more than 285,000 of which were in Nevada.
“We have a lot more to do,” Biden said. “Not everyone is feeling the benefits of our investments and our progress yet, but inflation is now lower in America than in any other major economy in the world.”
Should he win re-election and Democrats gain a majority in Congress, Biden promised to sign a federal ban of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines — the style of weapons used in the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting on the Strip that immediately killed 58 and injured hundreds of others.
Biden said Republicans will work to pass a national ban on abortion as well as continue the 2017 tax cuts Trump signed into law that Biden called handouts to the wealthy at the expense of everyday Americans.
“Trump went after our access to health care (and) he gave tax cuts to the rich instead of hurting families in our community,” said Carolyn Salvador Avila, a UNLV student and the national president of College Democrats of America. “We’re a proud pro-choice state, but Trump targeted our freedoms: He helped overturn Roe v. Wade and jeopardized the lives of all women.”
Biden also highlighted, to great applause, the diversity of his cabinet — which features more women than men — as well as the makeup of the federal bench, which he said features more Black judges now than at any other point in history.
U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., who chairs the powerful Congressional Black Caucus, warmed up the crowd by telling them that a second Trump term would erase social gains made in the last three years with Biden.
“We know that a second Trump presidency would chart us on a course that would send our progress back decades in the areas of voting rights, civil rights, equality, women’s rights, education, economic justice and opportunity,” Horsford said.
Biden earlier on Sunday spoke at a fundraiser featuring U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and former Gov. Steve Sisolak. That event was emceed by former Nevada Assemblyman Richard Perkins and Myra Greenspun of the Las Vegas Sun.
Winning Clark County, home to about 70% of the state population, in 2024 will be vital to Biden’s hopes of carrying Nevada again. In 2020, beat Trump by 9.4 percentage points, or 90,922 votes and won the state outright by roughly 34,000 votes.
“Our vote is our voice,” Horsford said. “And we must use our voice through the ballot box to protect our democracy.”