President Trump on Friday said Democrat Joseph R. Biden is “plagiarizing” Mr. Trump’s economic plan, a barb that evokes a scandal from the former vice president’s past.
“He plagiarized from me, but he can never pull it off,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House.
Mr. Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, unveiled his economic plan Thursday, calling for spending $400 billion on a federal “Buy American” program to drive economic demand.
When he was running for president in 1987, Mr. Biden was hurt badly by the accusation that he plagiarized passages of a speech from a British politician.
The White House said Mr. Biden’s economic plan is simply trying to copy Mr. Trump’s success in focusing on promoting domestic manufacturing and production.
“Yesterday, for all to see … he was plagiarizing Donald Trump — ‘Buy American,’” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters. “I think it’s really rich that he feels so desperate he now has to plagiarize and copy President Trump.”
Mrs. Conway also mocked Mr. Biden for “plagiarizing” Sen. Benard Sanders, his former rival for the Democratic nomination, in crafting his “unity agenda.” Mr. Sanders of Vermont has been working with Mr. Biden on the plan.
She said copying the president’s “Buy American” agenda is “easy to do — President Trump is in charge bringing back manufacturing, bringing about wealth and jobs that were parked overseas because of the Obama-Biden policies and the policies of other presidents.”
“I hope they didn’t spend $1 on focus grouping that, since we already know it’s how this president got elected, to some degree, but it’s not going to fly because Joe Biden has a record, and he should be pressed on that record,” she said. “That record was not pro-American worker, pro-American industry, pro-manufacturing. He was for all these non-reciprocal, imbalanced trade deals that screwed the American workers, screwed American industry, screwed America for many years.”
Mr. Trump said of his opponent, “He likes plagiarizing. He’s copying what I’ve done. But the difference is he can’t do it. It can’t be the same, because he’s raising taxes way too much.”