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Trump versus Biden
May 28, 2019

President Trump decidedly did not leave U.S. politics at the water's edge during his long weekend in Japan. On Tuesday morning in Tokyo, Trump fired off two more tweets about 2020 Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, this time hitting him for his role in enacting a 1994 crime bill.

"Super Predator was the term associated with the 1994 Crime Bill" that Biden "was so heavily involved in passing," Trump tweeted. "That was a dark period in American History," and Biden has not apologized. "Anyone associated with the 1994 Crime Bill will not have a chance of being elected," he added an hour later. "In particular, African Americans will not be able to vote for you."

But Biden never used the phrase "superpredator" — that was Hillary Clinton — and Trump has his own particularly dark history when it comes to race in that same time period.

Few people think Biden — vice president to America's first black president — would lose the African American vote to Trump, who frequently pushed the lie that the first black president was born in Africa. But that's not the point, says Bloomberg's Sahil Kapur. "If Biden is the nominee, Trump is going to use the '94 crime bill to try and depress black turnout, a la Hillary Clinton and 'superpredators.' ... Low turnout hurt Dems badly in MI WI PA."

The 1994 law is now broadly unpopular among Democrats. "There's a whole lot of talk about Biden and the crime bill," Biden said in New Hampshire last week. He didn't apologize but he cited "three big things" he stands behind: "One-third of the $10 billion was for prevention," the bill was packaged with an assault weapons ban and Biden's Violence Against Women's Act, and "we also set up drug courts so that we could divert people. They should be treated, not in jail." Peter Weber

May 22, 2019

At a rally in Pennsylvania on Monday night, President Trump went after former Vice President Joe Biden, who — according to public and apparently internal Trump campaign polling — is beating Trump in the Keystone State. "He's not from Pennsylvania," Trump said of Biden, who lived in Scranton until age 10. "I guess he was born here, but he left you folks. He left you for another state. Remember that, please."

Stephen Colbert's Late Show turned that into a mock Trump attack ad.

But Biden appeared to take the slight more seriously. "I've never forgotten where I came from," he wrote on Twitter. "My family did have to leave Pennsylvania when I was 10 — we moved to Delaware where my Dad found a job that could provide for our family."

Biden continued the pushback at a Florida fundraiser Tuesday night, deftly slipping in a coal reference

In a Quinnipiac poll released last week, Biden is beating Trump by 11 points in Pennsylvania, but to be fair, Trump is also losing to a handful of other Democrats, too. Peter Weber

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