President Donald Trump on Thursday evening dismissed some of the key 2020 Democratic nominees with a few words during a lengthy phone call to Fox News’ Sean Hannity that was broadcast live on television.
Trump’s discussion on Hannity covered a wide range of issues, including special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the Green New Deal, allegations of improper behavior from federal law enforcement, the media’s coverage of his presidency and illegal border crossing.
The president’s roughly 45-minute conversation with Hannity — a longtime ally of Trump — ended with some harsh comments on five 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.
When Hannity asked Trump to respond with a few words to describe some currently popular Democratic candidates, he was happy to oblige.
Trump had already commented on former Vice President Joe Biden — who officially announced his 2020 bid for the presidency on Thursday — earlier in the segment, saying: “I’ve known Joe over the years. He is not the brightest light bulb in the group, I don’t think, but he has a name that they know.”
“He’s a pretty sleepy guy,” Trump elaborated to Hannity. “He’s not going to be able to deal with [Chinese President Xi Jinping]… he’s not going to be able to do the job.”
The president’s statement echoes a tweet he posted earlier in the day, shortly after Biden’s announcement. “Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe,” the president tweeted. “I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign. It will be nasty — you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas. But if you make it, I will see you at the Starting Gate!”
On Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Trump admitted that while the self-described democratic socialist has “a lot of energy,” he believed that energy has been “misguided.”
“He’s done very poorly in terms of the Senate,” the president added.
Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who represented the state’s 16th congressional district between 2013 and 2019, is “fading very fast,” Trump said.
When asked about his thoughts on South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Trump said “Mayor Pete is not going to make it” as the Democratic 2020 nominee. “I’m rooting for him,” he added, “but he’s not going to make it.”
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has “got a little bit of nasty wit, but that might be it,” Trump said of the former Attorney General of California, who served from 2011 to 2017.
In the latest Monmouth University Poll, released earlier this week, Biden held the top spot in the race among a field of 24 already-announced and potential Democratic candidates, with 27 percent of votes from Democrats and Democratic-leaning respondents. Sanders followed behind closely with 20 percent, a slight drop from a March poll conducted by the same researchers, where he had the support of 25 percent of voters.
Meanwhile, Buttigieg surged to eight percent, up from the last Monmouth poll which had him at one percent. Buttigieg’s support is now in line with Harris’, also on 8 percent, and ahead of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at 6 percent, and O’Rourke, who is at 4 percent.