Trump knocks Biden, touts criminal justice reform passage ahead of first Democratic debate

Trump knocks Biden, touts criminal justice reform passage ahead of first Democratic debate
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE on Wednesday touted the passage of criminal justice reform under his administration roughly an hour before the start of the first Democratic presidential primary debate, calling for candidates to be asked why past administrations failed to do the same.

In a pair of tweets sent aboard Air Force One, Trump specifically knocked his 2016 opponent, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump heads to California Hillary Clinton: Voter suppression has led to 'crisis in democracy' in the US MORE, as well as 2020 candidate and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Poll: Biden holds five-point lead over Warren among New York Democrats MORE, who will not be onstage until Thursday night.

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"Ever since the passage of the Super Predator Crime Bill, pushed hard by @JoeBiden, together with Bill and Crooked Hillary Clinton, which inflicted great pain on many, but especially the African American Community, Democrats have tried and failed to pass Criminal Justice Reform," Trump tweeted, noting that a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill was passed during his presidency.

"Many said that nobody but President Trump could have done this," he added. "All previous administrations failed. Please ask why THEY failed to the candidates!"

Trump made the comments while en route to Japan for the Group of 20 summit. He had tweeted minutes earlier that his campaign team would be offering live reaction as the debate unfolded because he was "off to save the Free World."

The president told Fox Business Network on Wednesday morning that he would watch the debate "because I have to," despite it being a "very unexciting group of people."

The first night of the debates will include Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations MORE (D-Mass.), former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeOvernight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks Five top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum Yang campaign says it received 450K entries for 'Freedom Dividend' contest MORE (D-Texas), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOvernight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks Poll: 33 percent of voters undecided on who won third Democratic debate Jon Bon Jovi: Booker would 'do an amazing job' as president MORE (D-N.J.) and New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioPoll: Biden holds five-point lead over Warren among New York Democrats New York City won't penalize students for skipping school for climate rally Working Families Party endorses Warren after backing Sanders in 2016 MORE (D).

Thursday's debate will see Biden go head-to-head with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCalifornia poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations Poll: Biden holds five-point lead over Warren among New York Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegCalifornia poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Buttigieg unveils disaster response plan focused on communities Poll: Biden holds five-point lead over Warren among New York Democrats MORE (D).

The president has previously targeted Biden over his support of the 1994 crime bill, and has fixated on the former vice president as the likely front-runner.

Several Democratic candidates, including Warren, Booker and O'Rourke, have offered plans detailing prison reform or further changes to the criminal justice system.