President Trump increasingly is portraying Joseph R. Biden as the most liberal candidate in the presidential race as the former vice president surges past Sen. Bernard Sanders in the campaign for the Democratic nomination.
The president on Friday said Mr. Biden would be a figurehead president controlled by “left-wing” advisers like former Rep. Beto O’Rourke on issues such as gun control.
“He’s left-wing, and he’s got all people that are left-wing,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House. “In many ways, he’s worse than Bernie. Look what he did with guns — he put Beto [O’Rourke] in charge of guns. Beto wants to get rid of guns, right? So that’s a bad stance.”
During a campaign rally in Texas this week, Mr. Biden invited Mr. O’Rourke, a former congressman, on stage and promised he would lead a gun control effort if the Democrat wins the presidency.
“You’re going to take care of the gun problem with me,” he told Mr. O’Rourke. “You’re going to be the one who leads this effort, I’m counting on you. We need you badly.”
Mr. O’Rourke had pledged during his brief campaign for president to confiscate AR-15 rifles and other firearms if elected.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick ridiculed the offer by Mr. Biden, calling it sheer stupidity for the November election.
“The dumbest thing he has said is he’s going to put Beto O’Rourke in charge of getting our guns,” Mr. Patrick said on Fox News. “I’m telling you, that just added two or three points to President Trump’s victory in November if it’s the ‘Biden and Beto Show.’ “
Mr. Trump said Mr. Biden would be controlled by those around him if he reaches the White House.
“He’s got a lot of people that are left-wing, and they’ll be running the government,” the president said. “He’s not going to be running anything, if he ever got it.”
Mr. Trump also said Mr. Biden has plans to raise taxes even higher than Mr. Sanders of Vermont would.
“It wouldn’t be good for Wall Street,” Mr. Trump said. “He’s going to raise taxes more than Bernie. His tax increases are staggering.”
The president said at a town hall meeting on Thursday night that he had been “all set” to run against Mr. Sanders, a socialist whose far-left proposals have worried many in the Democratic Party’s establishment.
But Mr. Trump said that since Mr. Biden’s victories on Super Tuesday, he doubts that Mr. Sanders can come back to win the nomination.