Former Vice President Joe Biden kicked off his “No Malarkey” bus tour on Saturday by warning a crowd in Iowa that President Trump would “change the character” of the U.S. if he were to stay in the White House for eight years.
“We can overcome four years of Donald Trump, but eight years will literally, literally begin to change the character of this nation, and we cannot let that happen,” Biden said, echoing a theme of his 2020 presidential campaign. “We cannot let that happen.”
Biden’s eight-day bus tour will take him to 18 counties in Iowa as part of an effort to highlight voters in rural America. The tour comes just about two months before the Iowa caucuses.
In a speech launching the tour in Council Bluffs, Biden repeated many of the messages he’s preached throughout his presidential campaign. He strongly denounced Trump, saying that the “No Malarkey” bus tour name served as a contrast to Trump since the president is “all lies.”
“Our national character is on the ballot this time around. Our children are listening, they’re wondering what’s going on,” Biden said.
The former vice president also called out Trump’s trade policies and its impacts on Iowa farmers. He said that his tour would emphasize this problem, stating that he believes it has become a “forgotten part of this campaign.”
“I promise you, I promise you,” Biden said. “we’re going to win this race, and we’re going to beat Donald Trump, and we’re going to change America.”
A few hundred supporters came out to witness Biden’s speech, according to The Associated Press. Bobby Moore, a party volunteer, told the news outlet that the attendance “isn’t one-10th of what was here for Pete” Buttigieg just days ago.
Biden has remained near the top of state and national polls since launching his campaign. Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have also separated themselves from the large primary field.
Buttigieg holds a 7-point lead over Biden in Iowa, according to a Civiqs-Iowa State University poll released last month. Meanwhile, Biden has an 8-point advantage over Buttigieg nationally, a Quinnipiac poll released last week found. Warren and Sanders appeared right behind them in each of the surveys.