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Trump enjoys Democratic turmoil as he returns to the campaign trail and flirts with vice presidential pick – Longmont Times-Call

FILE – Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks at a 2024 campaign rally at Temple University in Philadelphia on June 22, 2024. Trump returns to the campaign trail on July 9, gathering voters in his home state at his flagship golf resort in a celebratory mood as Democrats face difficult decisions about President Joe Biden’s re-election chances. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, File)

By ADRIANA GOMEZ LICON, Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) — After largely turning his back on the growing turmoil surrounding President Joe Biden’s campaign during the debates, former President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail on Tuesday and reveled in the Democrats’ public power struggles.

Trump gathered his supporters at one of his Miami-area golf courses shortly before announcing his running mate, but he appears in no rush as much of the attention is still focused on questions about Biden’s ability to govern for another four-year term. Some Democrats have begun calling for Biden to step down as their likely nominee after his dismal performance at the debate last month.

“Our victory was so clear that Joe’s own party now wants him to throw in the towel and give up the presidency after a single 90-minute performance,” Trump said Tuesday night. “They want to throw ‘Crooked Joe’ out of the race. It’s a disgrace how they’re treating him. But don’t feel sorry for him. He’s a very bad guy.”

Trump also attacked Vice President Kamala Harris, who has become a focus of the former president and his allies since speculation began that she could replace Biden as the Democratic nominee. Trump called her the “Laughing Kamala” and spoke of the “Biden-Harris administration” rather than simply accusing Biden of actions, as he had done for months when criticizing her immigration policies.

“For all the panic among Democrats this week, the truth is, it doesn’t matter who they nominate – because we’re going to beat every one of them hands down, and this November is going to be fantastic,” he said.

Both Biden, 81, and Trump, 78, are at least two decades older than most American presidents, according to the Pew Research Center. The average age of all U.S. presidents at their first inauguration is 55. But that hasn’t stopped Trump from arguing he’s stronger than Biden, who repeatedly stumbled, paused and at times couldn’t finish sentences during the June 27 debate. Trump was criticized by Democrats for making false statements during the debate about the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol and for suggesting that immigrants entering the U.S. illegally were taking so-called “black jobs” and “Hispanic jobs.”

In an interview with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity on Monday, Trump said he believes Biden “might very well stay in the race.” “Nobody wants to give it up like that,” Trump added. “He’s going to feel bad for a long time. It’s hard to give it up like that, the way they’re trying to push him out.”