SAN FRANCISCO − President Joe Biden assailed Donald Trump for echoing language from “Nazi Germany,” singling out the former president’s description of his political opponents as “vermin” and warning that Trump is determined to “destroy American democracy.”
Biden seized on Trump’s comments Tuesday during remarks at a campaign fundraiser in San Francisco, signaling a more combative strategy toward the Republican frontrunner as Trump maintains a massive polling lead in the GOP primary.
“Trump has said if he returns to office, he’s going to go after all those who oppose him and wipe out what he called the ‘vermin’ in America. A specific phrase with a specific meaning,” Biden told fundraiser guests. “It echoes language you heard in Nazi Germany in the ‘30s. And it isn’t even the first time.”
Biden then quoted Trump saying “the blood of America is being poisoned,” a remark Trump made during an interview last month with the right-leaning The National Pulse when discussing immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border.
“‘The blood of America is being poisoned,'” Biden said. “Again, echoes the same phrases used in Nazi Germany.”
“Folks, we can’t fail. We can’t fail to treat the threat that he poses,” Biden said.
Trump used the term “vermin” at least twice last weekend, reminding many of how dictators Germany’s Adolf Hitler and Italy’s Benito Mussolini compared their enemies to rodents during their rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s.
In a Truth Social post paying tribute to Veterans Day on Saturday, Trump said: “We pledge to you that we will root out the Communists, Marxists, Fascists, and Radical Left Thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our Country.”
Trump also used those phrases during a Veteran’s Day speech Saturday in New Hampshire.
The Trump campaign has rejected criticism about Trump’s use of the word “vermin,” saying it comes from people who fear they will lose the election to the former president.
“Those who try to make that ridiculous assertion are clearly snowflakes grasping for anything because they are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome and their sad, miserable existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House,” the Trump campaign said in a statement this week.
Biden on Trump: ‘The guy can’t get tired of losing’
Biden is in San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference that includes a highly anticipated meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In his fundraiser remarks, Biden previewed several lines of attack against Trump in a potential rematch of the 2020 election. Recent polling has shown Biden trails Trump in most battleground states.
Biden accused Trump of trying to run away from his legacy of appointing three conservative justices who tilted the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and a constitutional right to abortion.
“He’s trying to change that now, too, if you notice,” Biden said, adding “let’s be absolutely clear” the “only reason there is an abortion ban in America is because of Donald Trump.”
Biden pointed to recent reports that Trump wants to use a second term in the White House to seek “revenge” and “retribution” against his political opponents.
“There’s a lot of reasons to be against Donald Trump. But damn, he shouldn’t be president. He should not be president,” Biden said.
Biden also took a shot at Trump while boasting about Democrats’ election wins last week in Virginia’s state legislature, Kentucky’s governor race and Ohio with the passage of an abortion-rights amendment.
“Remember when Trump told us he was going to win so much we’d get tired of winning?” Biden said. “Let me tell you one thing that’s true: We got tired of Trump. The truth is the guy can’t get tired of losing.”
Contributing: David Jackson. Reach Joey Garrison on X, formerly Twitter, @joeygarrison.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden says Trump is echoing ‘language you heard in Nazi Germany’