CLOSINGS: View Closings

Trump slams Biden in morning tweet

Donald Trump responds to former Vice President Joe Biden's reaction to the President's comments on women.

Posted: Mar 24, 2018 11:13 AM
Updated: Mar 24, 2018 11:15 AM

On Thursday morning at 6:19 a.m. ET, the President of the United States tweeted this: "Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn't know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don't threaten people Joe!"

That tweet by Donald Trump came in response to comments former Vice President Joe Biden made in a speech in Florida on Tuesday in which he said of Trump: "They asked me would I like to debate this gentleman, and I said no. I said, 'If we were in high school, I'd take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him."

On one level this is all dumb. Two septuagenarians debating who is tougher and beating their chests is not exactly the sort of stuff we expect (and we should expect) from our leaders. (Sidebar: Biden is far from blameless in this. His comments were pure machismo and ill-advised. And, yes, Biden is suggesting assault on the President of the United States.)

But, that Trump decided to respond to Biden -- and that he responded the way he did -- shouldn't be dismissed. It provides -- as almost all of Trump's tweets do -- a window into who he is, how he sees the world and what being the President of the United States actually means to him.

Here are three thoughts on what Trump's tweet tells us about him.

1. Being "presidential" is not a thing for Trump

What most presidents would do in a situation in which a private citizen -- albeit one who used to be the vice president of the United States and is actively considering a future run for president -- attacked them is to ignore it. What possible gain, after all, does a president of the United States, just 14 months into his first term, gain by engaging directly with a political opponent? It makes him look like just another politician rather than the President.

Trump doesn't care what other presidents would do. Or, he cares in the sense that it likely spurs him to do the opposite. He has made a career out of zigging when everyone else zags. So, if most presidents would ignore Biden, Trump goes after him -- and punches back 10 times harder than he got punched.

Trump has zero concern for whether doing so is "presidential."

2. Trump is a street fighter

At his core, Donald Trump is a New York kid who grew up feeling like he was always on the outside looking in, having to scrap his way to get into the places he wanted. (That image doesn't totally jibe with the reality of growing up as the son of a wealthy real estate developer, but I digress.)

For Trump, combat -- more the rhetorical kind than the physical kind -- is what he knows best. He likes having an opponent, a foil, someone he can use as a punching bag to score points with the people who support him. In that, Biden is perfect. A Democrat. Who was part and parcel of the Obama administration. Who screwed everything up in the first place. And on and on and on.

Trump, in his mind's eye, is also a tough guy -- a big, imposing figure who isn't just some schmuck in a suit. He peppers virtually every speech he gives with tales of his strength, his toughness, his manliness. Other people may make idle threats, but not me, Trump is forever suggesting. You step to me and I'll knock your block off -- or whatever the kids say nowadays.

3. Trump is very, very frustrated

I wrote on Wednesday about the increasing pressure crushing down on Trump -- from a series of civil lawsuits brought by women alleging affairs or unwanted groping, from special counsel Bob Mueller's probe into Russian election meddling, from the lack of close confidantes left to him in the White House.

When you have that much pressure on you, you need to find ways to blow off steam -- or risk exploding. Twitter has long been Trump's pressure release valve, the way he feels he can communicate in real time with the people who truly "get" him -- his followers.

Tweets like the one proposing a fight with Biden are indicative of a man who feels trapped by his office and hemmed in by a series of issues that he has little to no control over.

Twitter is what he can control, where he can be himself. I'd expect more tweets like this rather than less as the Mueller probe goes on -- and interviews with Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels air over the next few days,

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1560117

Reported Deaths: 20796
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2118112563
Lake1021301523
Allen964791027
Hamilton75541551
St. Joseph66476761
Elkhart51045634
Vanderburgh50511531
Tippecanoe45721338
Johnson39600527
Hendricks37933463
Porter35132476
Madison30330547
Clark27296331
Vigo26401347
Monroe24100249
LaPorte23921313
Howard23237381
Delaware22453370
Hancock19314220
Bartholomew18980216
Kosciusko18400204
Warrick17733216
Wayne16982303
Floyd16686257
Grant15966300
Morgan15091232
Boone13924138
Dearborn12235113
Shelby12225152
Noble12170142
Henry12027202
Dubois11696152
Marshall11625171
Jackson11111104
Cass10578143
Lawrence10529221
Huntington10523140
DeKalb10482132
Gibson10114127
Montgomery9671144
Harrison9471117
Knox9415125
Whitley902571
Steuben8934105
Putnam8542100
Miami8533135
Clinton849397
Jasper8462116
Jefferson8319127
Wabash8027140
Ripley7504117
Scott685787
Adams6829103
Daviess6825130
White638184
Greene6317112
Clay628975
Decatur6261121
Jennings619781
Wells6090121
Fayette6054122
Posey580148
LaGrange549097
Randolph5364129
Washington528071
Owen5211100
Fountain493681
Spencer467456
Sullivan462066
Fulton450993
Orange449784
Starke448887
Rush433941
Jay432564
Perry409155
Carroll394749
Franklin394650
Vermillion370762
Pike334246
Parke331239
Tipton330475
Blackford282255
Pulaski281775
Brown239856
Newton239761
Benton228921
Crawford224932
Switzerland207914
Martin196722
Warren183922
Union178119
Ohio129216
Unassigned0763

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2515949

Reported Deaths: 31987
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2719422100
Cuyahoga2606673087
Hamilton1758091756
Montgomery1177451651
Summit1089011418
Lucas935321193
Butler83907963
Stark771001431
Lorain64214809
Warren53428489
Mahoning51224930
Lake47591611
Clermont46928452
Delaware41107220
Trumbull39746790
Licking38790416
Medina38646427
Fairfield35828349
Greene34313435
Portage32429366
Clark32361453
Richland29653444
Wood29379301
Allen25875403
Miami24243408
Muskingum23564255
Columbiana23046409
Wayne22093365
Tuscarawas19637428
Marion18616235
Erie18608224
Ashtabula18569362
Scioto18159214
Ross17594260
Pickaway16419181
Hancock16115232
Geauga15511229
Lawrence15094186
Belmont14236248
Union1419584
Huron13908184
Jefferson13656261
Sandusky13268200
Athens12877107
Knox12160201
Seneca12055204
Darke11440202
Ashland11248184
Washington11152172
Auglaize10873147
Crawford10432178
Shelby10402160
Brown10094145
Highland9746151
Fulton9726154
Guernsey9683122
Defiance9567137
Logan9470147
Clinton9428132
Mercer9099112
Madison9032111
Preble8524170
Williams8305138
Putnam8069136
Champaign8040113
Ottawa7971123
Jackson7848121
Perry7514102
Coshocton7411136
Morrow729184
Fayette715992
Pike666689
Hardin6564133
Gallia638891
Adams6227127
Van Wert6065121
Henry602596
Hocking5918105
Wyandot503594
Carroll5009101
Holmes4880167
Paulding426465
Meigs400974
Monroe316468
Harrison299162
Noble296952
Morgan292748
Vinton258646
Unassigned08
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: -4°
Angola
Cloudy
16° wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 16°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
10° wxIcon
Hi: 18° Lo: 8°
Feels Like: 0°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: -4°
Van Wert
Mostly Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 20° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 7°
The coldest air of the season filters into the region Tuesday night into Wednesday.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events