President Trump tried out new angles of attack against Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris on Wednesday, calling her "very weak on facts" and saying her campaign "dropped like a rock."
Harris and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made their first joint appearance Wednesday after Biden announced her as his running mate on Tuesday. Harris devoted a significant portion of her speech to criticizing the president's response to the coronavirus, pointing out Mr. Trump's inconsistent statements on measures like social distancing and masks, key elements of keeping the virus under control.
Confronted with her remarks, the president, whose propensity forhas often been noted, said Harris probably had to drop out because she's "very weak on facts."
"I think that's probably one of the reasons she was a terrible candidate and was forced to leave the race — because she got her facts wrong. You know, she's very bad on facts, she's very weak on facts," Mr. Trump said. "And just so you understand, we've done more testing than any country in the world by far."
On Wednesday, Mr. Trump insisted that the U.S. is doing better than any country in the world, though the U.S. leads the world in coronavirus deaths.
The president expanded on his assertion that the U.S. has the most cases because it conducts the most tests.
"As we move forward, the number of cases is not by any means the most important metric to focus on because the fact that is we have more cases because we have far more testing than any country in the world, there's no country that's even close. We've done more testing and better testing than any country," the president said.
When directly asked during a hearing in July about the veracity of Mr. Trump's claim that the U.S. has more cases because it does more testing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top expert on infectious diseases, said that that cases had increased because of "a number of factors," in particular, that when some states reopened, they failed to abide by federal government guidelines, or people in those states "were congregating in crowds and not wearing masks." He declined to mention increased testing as a factor.
Mr. Trump and the Republican Party stillon a line of attack against Harris, a former prosecutor and the first female vice presidential candidate of color. The Trump campaign is branding Harris as a "phony" and Biden's liberal "handler," while a GOP memo sent to reporters under the heading "Liberals revolt against Biden, Harris ticket" included examples of progressives who criticized the pick.
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump said Harris had been "nasty" to Biden and then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, using some variation of the word "nasty" in several times to describe her.
"She was very disrespectful to Joe Biden, and it's hard to pick somebody that's that disrespectful," the president said on Tuesday.