At an exclusive San Francisco fundraiser Tuesday evening, President Joe Biden—who’s in town for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit—didn’t mince words regarding his likely Republican opponent in 2024.
At the Merchants Exchange Building, a historic Downtown venue that’s popular for Democratic fundraisers, Biden rallied a crowd of high-dollar donors and repeatedly called out Trump by name.
The president, who’s due to meet with China’s leader Xi Jinping on Wednesday, likened Trump's rhetoric to what was said in Nazi Germany and said in no uncertain terms that Trump shouldn't be president.
"There's a lot of reasons to be against Donald Trump, but damn, he shouldn't be president," said Biden.
The event took place in a wood-paneled ballroom with 25 round tables in it, each seating 10 people, with a large fireplace at one end of the room. Biden spoke onstage at a podium with an American flag and a California flag.
The fundraiser was hosted by real estate and media magnate Clint Reilly and his wife, Janet, and attendees included Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was seen working the room, along with San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Vice President Kamala Harris and film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg. Tickets ran up to $200,000 per person, according to Puck News.
"You remember Trump told us he was going to win so much we’d get tired of winning. … Oh man, I shouldn’t get started," Biden told the crowd.
Trump is the leading contender among Republican presidential candidates by a wide margin and has ramped up rhetoric against perceived opponents and immigrants at recent appearances.
In a speech on Veterans Day, Trump vowed to root out political opponents like “vermin.” At other rallies and events, he has compared migrants to Hannibal Lecter, the fictional serial killer from the movie The Silence of the Lambs, the New York Times reported.
Biden also called out Trump for his verbal attacks on Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul, who was attacked with a hammer at their San Francisco home last year. The suspect, David DePape, was allegedly motivated by conspiracy theories and searching for Nancy on the night of the attack.
The crowd booed.
"On more than one occasion in recent weeks, [Trump has] made a joke about the assaults on Nancy Pelosi's husband. ... There's no place in America for political violence," Biden said.
The crowd cheered Biden as he ticked off a list of accomplishments that included nominating Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and passing climate-focused infrastructure legislation. He also teased his highly anticipated meeting with Xi at the historic Filoli estate in nearby Woodside.
"President Xi is another example of how reestablishing American leadership in the world is taking hold. They've got real problems, folks," Biden said.
"Thank you, Joe," shouted one attendee as the president discussed his economic record.
With a year to go before the November 2024 general election, polling shows Biden losing to Trump in a prospective contest. But Biden pointed out recent electoral victories for Democrats in Ohio, Virginia and elsewhere: “Sounds like a pretty good day for Joe Biden," he said.
"Let me tell you one thing that’s true. We got tired of Trump. The truth is the guy can’t get tired of losing."
Annie Gaus can be reached at email@example.com