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From across the Pacific, Trump knocks debate performances of ‘Sleepy Joe’ and ‘Crazy Bernie’

Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders arrive for the second of two scheduled nights of debates on Thursday in Miami. | M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

President Donald Trump panned the Democratic debate performances of front-runners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders on Friday, wading into 2020 politics in between meetings with world leaders at the G-20 Summit.

“I am in Japan at the G-20, representing our Country well, but I heard it was not a good day for Sleepy Joe or Crazy Bernie. One is exhausted, the other is nuts – so what’s the big deal?” Trump wrote in a tweet.

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The president’s post to Twitter landed Friday morning in Washington but after a full day of G-20 meetings for Trump, including with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro. A dinner with G-20 leaders remained on the president’s schedule as he fired off his Twitter missive on the two Democratic front-runners.

Biden’s performance at Thursday night’s debate has been widely panned as underwhelming after the former vice president spent much of the evening on the defensive. He was attacked most notably by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who lambasted Biden for the warm remarks he made earlier this month about pro-segregation senators he worked with early in his career as a senator as well as his track record of opposing school busing to better integrate public schools.

Sanders, too, fought off criticism at Thursday’s debate. The independent Vermont senator said attacks from Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), the second youngest candidate on the stage Thursday night, amounted to ageism. The California congressman said that “It’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans” — directly calling out Biden. Sanders also got hit with notions that today’s issues are “generational.”

Trump dismissed the former Vice President’s success on Wednesday in an interview leading up to the first debate. Biden has topped nearly every poll since entering the race, but the President called him a “lost soul” who is “changing his views very rapidly” in response to criticism from within the Democratic Party.

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