DAVENPORT, Iowa — President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden repeatedly laid into each other while traveling in the battleground state of Iowa, unleashing verbal attacks that at times felt more appropriate for the final weeks before Election Day than a lazy summer about 17 months before voters go to the polls.
The back-and-forth on Tuesday laid bare the rising political stakes for each man. Trump has zeroed in on Biden as a threat to his reelection chances and is testing themes to keep him at bay. Biden, meanwhile, is campaigning as a front-runner with near-universal name recognition , relishing the fight with Trump while trying to ensure he doesn’t ignore the demands of the crowded Democratic primary .
“People don’t respect him,” Trump said of Biden after touring a renewable energy facility in Council Bluffs. “Even the people that he’s running against, they’re saying: ‘Where is he? What happened?'”