Trump did not elaborate on why Buttigieg is his favored candidate and didn’t have anything negative to say about the young South Bend, Ind., mayor, other than that he doubted he’d win the crowded primary.
“I hope he would,” Trump said. “I’m rooting for him, but he is not going to make it.”
The rest of his answers cast little doubt that Trump is eager to skewer his would-be opponents like he did the cast of GOP candidates in 2016.
Trump doubled down on the nickname he chose for former vice president Joe Biden, “Sleepy Joe.” The president didn’t have anything to back up that moniker, other than to say, “He’s a pretty sleepy guy,” and that he wouldn’t be able to do the job, claiming the veteran politician couldn’t hold his own with the likes of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
After Biden officially entered the race early Thursday, Trump tweeted: “Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe.”
Of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Trump said he’s “got a lot of energy, but it’s misguided energy” and that he “talks a lot” but doesn’t get anything done. Trump said former representative Beto O’Rourke is “a fluke” who is “fading very fast.”
“Looks like he’s going to be a thing of the past soon,” Trump said. “He was a hot item for a while.”
As for Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), he said she seems to have “a little bit of a nasty wit.” In 2016, Trump called Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman” during a debate and the term ended up a feminist rallying cry.
During the interview, which was mostly a vent session for Trump about the Russia investigation, he mocked senior senators for supporting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, saying they stood “fawning behind her” while she was talking about her vision to combat both climate change and income inequality.
He also took yet another swipe at the late senator John McCain for his famous thumbs-down vote that blocked Republicans from moving forward on repealing key sections of the Affordable Care Act.
“He did Republicans a tremendous disservice, did the nation a tremendous disservice. … It was a disgraceful thing to do,” Trump said about the war hero.