Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday he doesn’t think President Biden will make it through Election Day as his party’s standard-bearer.
Speaking at a Fox News town hall-style event moderated by Sean Hannity in Davenport, Iowa, Mr. Trump said the mainstream media has been protecting Mr. Biden despite the fact he “can’t put two sentences together” and “doesn’t know he is alive.”
“I personally don’t think he makes it. I haven’t said that. I have been saving that for this town hall,” Mr. Trump said. “I think he is in bad shape physically.”
Mr. Trump said California Gov. Gavin Newsom could step in, calling him “slick” but someone who struggles with facts. Mr. Trump said Vice President Kamala Harris, however, would be the odds-on favorite because Democrats are worried about alienating Black voters.
Asked about Democrats warning that his second term would move the country toward a dictatorship, Mr. Trump said he would act in such a manner to “close the border” and open up oil and gas drilling.
“After that, I am not a dictator,” he said.
Mr. Trump’s appearance on Fox News comes on the eve of the fourth Republican presidential debate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The Republican National Committee announced this week that Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie qualified for the event after meeting polling and donor thresholds that have winnowed the field.
For the fourth straight time, though, Mr. Trump is turning down the invite, saying he is so far ahead in the polls that he has nothing to gain from sharing the stage with those chasing him.
Mr. Trump also has been sharing polls on social media showing him with massive leads in the GOP nomination race and also leading President Biden in battleground states.
Mr. DeSantis and Mrs. Haley, meanwhile, are locked in a battle to become the clear alternative to Mr. Trump, while Mr. Ramaswamy and Mr. Christie are fighting to convince voters they still have a chance.
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump projected optimism about his campaign, saying he is attracting “incredible” and more energetic crowds than he did during his 2016 and 2020 runs.
“Other candidates have like 7 people standing in a farm, and they are talking, it is a very nice thing to watch, especially for me. I enjoy watching that,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump also said Democrats are so desperate to stop him from winning the GOP presidential nomination that they have started bankrolling his rivals.
“I just found out Democrats are funding Nikki Haley’s campaign. I hear Democrats are contributing to Ron DeSanctus — or DeSanctimonious — campaign,” he said.