President Joe Biden on Tuesday decried former President Donald Trump’s recent remarks calling his political foes “vermin” as rhetoric reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
During a rally in New Hampshire last weekend, Trump vowed to “root out” groups he characterized as “vermin” who act as “threats from within” the U.S.
“We pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country,” Trump said while pushing baseless claims of widespread election fraud led by his opponents.
Biden excoriated Trump’s remarks as language echoing Nazi Germany in the 1930s during a campaign fundraiser in San Francisco on Tuesday night.
“In just the last few days, Trump has said, if he returns office, he’s gonna go after all those who oppose him and wipe out what he called the vermin, quote, the vermin in America — a specific phrase with a specific meaning,” Biden said.
“It echoes language you heard in Nazi Germany in the ’30s. And it isn’t even the first time,” he added. “Trump also recently talked about, quote, the blood of America is being poisoned. The blood of America is being poisoned. Again, it echoes the same phrases used in Nazi Germany.”
Biden’s comments add to the backlash Trump’s remarks have drawn in recent days, with some critics noting that authoritarian leaders, including Adolf Hitler, have used the word “vermin” as a derogatory term in the past. Nazi propaganda referred to Jewish people as “vermin” who need to be extinguished for plaguing lands, comparing them to rats that spread diseases.
Reached for comment Wednesday morning in response to Biden’s criticism of Trump’s remarks, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement that “it’s despicable and racist” for Biden “to make that disgusting connection.”
“But I wouldn’t expect him to conduct himself in an honorable manner. He’s clearly suffering from a severe case of Trump derangement syndrome and should get professional help,” he said, adding that “there has been no bigger ally to Israel and the Jewish people than” Trump.
Cheung continued: “He renewed America’s cherished friendship and alliance with Israel and took historic action to promote peace in the Middle East. Whereas Biden’s weak and disastrous leadership has made America and the rest of the world less safe.”
Biden campaign and White House officials also blasted Trump’s remarks this week.
“On a weekend when most Americans were honoring our nation’s heroes, Donald Trump parroted the autocratic language of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini — two dictators many U.S. veterans gave their lives fighting, in order to defeat exactly the kind of un-American ideas Trump now champions,” Biden campaign spokesperson Ammar Moussa said in a statement Monday, referring to the commemoration of Veterans Day last weekend.
White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said Monday in a statement, quoting a Washington Post headline, “Employing words like ‘vermin’ to describe anyone who makes use of their basic right to criticize the government ‘echoes dictators’ like Hitler and Mussolini. Using terms like that about dissent would be unrecognizable to our founders, but horrifyingly recognizable to American veterans who put on their country’s uniform in the 1940s. ”
Prior to Biden’s remarks Tuesday night, Cheung had pushed back on comparisons of Trump’s comments to Nazis and past authoritarian leaders such as Hitler.
“Those who try to make that ridiculous assertion are clearly snowflakes grasping for anything because they are suffering from Trump derangement syndrome and their sad, miserable existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House,” Cheung said Monday in a statement.