President Donald Trump’s top surrogates held a news conference Monday evening just hours before the Iowa caucuses began, mocking Joe Biden’s performance in the polls despite “Nancy Pelosi actively trying to keep Bernie off of the trail.”
“Obviously, it seems like there’s a good surge in Bernie and obviously a lot of support,” Trump Jr. said at “Keep Iowa Great” conference in West Des Moines, Iowa. “I mean, Joe Biden’s had Iowa to himself for, what, three weeks because of the impeachment sham?”
He continued, “So you can see, and whether that’s by design, I don’t know if you believe that, Kevin, or not, maybe — Nancy Pelosi actively trying to keep keep Bernie off of the trail. So I mean, I would hope that with three weeks, unfettered access to Iowa, in a primary. You know, if Biden doesn’t win big, I mean he’s probably in a lot of trouble, right?”
The comment from Trump Jr. comes as former Vice President Joe Biden dropped 9 percentage points in the final survey of likely Iowa caucus-goers released Monday. Biden fell to third with 15% support, tying with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. In the RealClearPolitics polling average of Iowa polls, Biden slipped the last week from 23 points to 19 points.
“If it ends up being Biden because they set it up — as I said, the last time they rigged a primary, it worked out really well for us. We got the perfect candidate to run against,” Trump Jr. said. “Given the history, and given all of the other things we see about his competency on the stage, it’s one thing to hide him in a field of 17. It’s another to try to hide Joe when he is one-on-one with Trump for six months and that is a fight I would pay a lot of money to see.”
He drew a contrast between his family and the Bidens, arguing that he and his siblings, unlike Hunter Biden, have limited their business activities since their father entered the White House.
“Unlike Hunter Biden, we were international businesspeople before we got into politics,” he said. “That’s what we actually did. But when we said, ‘Hey, we’re not going to do new deals going forward. We won’t do that,’ just — fear of possible impropriety. We didn’t use it as a mandate to say, ‘Hey, let’s get rich quick. Let’s do it.’ That’s the difference between us and them.”
Trump Jr. was joined by his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, his younger brother Eric and Eric’s wife Lara. The “Keep Iowa Great” conference also included a speech from the president’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale who said “tonight will be a real test” for the Democrats.
“He’ll take on anyone, he’s that kind of guy,” Parscale said. “I’ve never seen him back down from a fight. He understood when he won in 2016 that it was the start of this fight, not the end of it. He sees 2020 and he’s ready. I think tonight will be a real test on the Democrats’ side.”
While Trump Jr. was speaking, the Associated Press declared the president the winner of the Iowa caucuses, as had been expected.