President Donald Trump was in Elko, Nevada on Saturday, and the man who might challenge him for the White House in 2020 just happened to be over in Las Vegas doing a rally of his own. Former Vice President Joe Biden was on the stump for Nevada Democrats at the Culinary Workers Union headquarters, where early reports suggest he was able to draw less than 200 people to come support him and Senate candidate Jacky Rosen. Trump, meanwhile, in a much smaller town, drew thousands to come out and support the MAGA agenda.
Trump, of course, couldn’t resist getting a dig in on Biden for the low turnout.
“By the way,” he said, “Joe Biden is in Las Vegas. Sleepy Joe Biden. We call him ‘One Percent Joe.’”
Trump noted that while Biden has run for president on several occasions, he’s never been able to get more than one percent of the Democrats’ support.
“I think he ran three times, and he never had more than 1 percent, so we call him ‘One-Percent Joe,” Trump said. “And then remember what happened? Obama came along and took him off the trash heap and made him vice president. But he never had more than 1 percent.”
But at least one audience member said there was a better nickname for Biden than “One Percent Joe.”
“She said ‘Creepy Joe,’” Trump said with a laugh, pointing at the crowd. “No, I would never do that. I would never insult him like that.”
Trump pointed out Biden’s low turnout and said it was a bad sign for his presidential aspirations.
“We love Elko, but in all fairness, it’s easier to draw a crowd in Las Vegas,” he observed.
Should Biden compete for and secure the Democratic Party nomination in 2020, this will probably not be the last time he and Trump hold dueling rallies in Nevada. The state is heading towards pure battleground status; Trump only lost to Hillary Clinton by 2.8% in 2016, and Republicans in Nevada think he’ll be able to easily make up that ground in the next election.
“This is Trump country now. He will win this state,” Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald told Politico. “If you look at the success he’s had over 18 months, and I say that with all due respect to the former vice president, there’s no one on that side of the aisle that can compete with President Trump.”
If Biden’s rally turnout is any indication, he may be right.