Trump vs. Biden: The two 70-somethings go at it over age, energy

The former vice president only joined the 2020 contest Thursday, but already he and the current occupant of the White House are trading shots.
Joe Biden on The View on April 26, 2019.
Joe Biden on The View on April 26, 2019.ABC

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By Dartunorro Clark

Joe Biden laughed off President Donald Trump's suggestion Friday that the former vice president is too old to run for the Oval Office.

"If he looks young and vibrant compared to me, I should probably go home," Biden, 76, quipped in an appearance on ABC's "The View."

"The best way to judge me is to watch, see if I have the energy and capacity. It's a show-me business."

Earlier, Trump, 72, said that Biden and other 2020 candidates are "making me look very young, both in terms of age and I think in terms of energy."

"Well, I think that — I just feel like a young man. I'm so young. I can't believe it. I'm the youngest person. I am a young, vibrant man," the president said. "I look at Joe — I don't know about him. I don't know."

Trump added, "I would never say anyone is too old, but I know they're all making me look very young, both in terms of age and I think in terms of energy. I think you people know that better than anybody."

Trump also had dubbed the former vice president "Sleepy Joe" within hours of his announcement Thursday that he was joining the 2020 race, and called him someone whose "intelligence" had been "long in doubt."

Biden on Friday said, "That's the first time I've ever been referenced that way, it's usually the other end: hyper Joe."

The two septuagenarians have sparred before. At a Florida rally in March 2018, Biden spoke out against sexual assault and blasted Trump for his controversial “Access Hollywood” comments about grabbing women’s genitals without their consent.

"A guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, 'I can grab a woman anywhere and she likes it,’” Biden said. "If we were in high school, I'd take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him."

Trump shot back in a tweet: "Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy...He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don't threaten people Joe!"

"I see that you are on the job and presidential, as always," Biden tweeted.

Biden also rejected criticism that his apology to Anita Hill, the law professor who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his Supreme Court nomination process, was insufficient.

Biden said on "The View" that he believed Hill's allegations and apologized for the "way she was treated" and said “mistakes were made across the board” during Thomas' confirmation in 1991. Biden, who was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, has been criticized for his handling of Hill's allegations and testimony before the all-male panel.

But, he added, "I don't think I treated her badly."

“I’m not going to judge whether or not it was appropriate — whether she thought it was sufficient,” Biden said of his apology. “I’m grateful she took my call.”

Hill, who worked with Thomas at two federal agencies before he was tapped to sit on the High Court, told The New York Times in an interview Thursday that she was “not satisfied” with her conversation with Biden.

“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying 'I’m sorry for what happened to you.' I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose,” she told the newspaper.

Moments after Biden announced his 2020 presidential run on Thursday, his campaign confirmed that Biden called Hill to express "regret."

He also was pressed on the allegations from women who have accused him of unwanted touching.

“I’m really sorry if what I did in talking to them, trying to console if they took it another way," he said. Then "The View" co-host Joy Behar pressed Biden on the apology, suggesting he take full responsibility.

"I’m sorry I invaded your space. I’m sorry this happened,” Biden responded. “But I'm not sorry in the sense that I did anything that was intentionally designed to do anything wrong or be inappropriate."