Joe Biden has been surprisingly gaffe-free while campaigning for Hillary Clinton, but on Friday, he toed the line when he described what he’d like to do to Donald Trump at a rally in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. “The press always asks me, don’t I wish I were debating him?” Biden said. “No, I wish were in high school and I could take him behind the gym.”
The remark generally wasn’t taken as an actual threat of violence, partly because it came as the vice-president was railing against domestic violence and sexual assault, and partly because Uncle Joe can get away with a lot.
Nevertheless, Biden walked back the remark during an appearance in Toledo, Ohio, on Monday, saying, “If I were in high school … I want to make it clear I understand what assault is. I’m not in high school. If I were in high school.” Then he undercut his point by punching one hand into the other.
Trump responded at a rally in Tallahassee, Florida, on Tuesday, pointing out that if he made the same remark, the press would say, “He’s violent. How could he have done that?” Then he took the high road, refusing to even joke about assaulting a political opponent.
Just kidding. Trump said he’s all for duking it out with the vice-president — though he was a bit confused about the location. “Did you see where Biden wants to take me to the back of the barn?” Trump said. “I’d love that. I’d love that,” he continued. “Mr. Tough Guy. He’s Mr. Tough Guy. You know, he’s Mr. Tough Guy, when he’s standing behind a microphone by himself.”
“Some things in life you could really love doing,” he added.
These septuagenarian politicians need to sit in time-out for the next two weeks, or until they feel they can play nicely with others.