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 Trump5 things to know about Boris Johnson Conservatives erupt in outrage against budget deal Trump says Omar will help him win Minnesota 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 Clinton5 things to know about Boris Johnson Trump says Omar will help him win Minnesota The Hill's Morning Report — Trump applauds two-year budget deal with 0 billion spending hike MORE, as well as 2020 candidate and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPoll: Biden leads 2020 Democratic field by 15 points, followed by Sanders and Warren Booker takes swipe at Biden criminal justice reform plan Panel: Has Joe Biden been wrong on everything for 40 years? 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 WarrenPoll: Biden leads 2020 Democratic field by 15 points, followed by Sanders and Warren Warren introduces bill to cancel student loan debt for millions Democrats, advocacy groups urge Pompeo to abolish new 'unalienable rights' commission MORE (D-Mass.), former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke calls Trump event 'almost an impromptu Nuremberg rally' after 'send her back' chants Biden's lead narrows in early voting states: poll New CBS poll shows Biden with 7-point lead in New Hampshire MORE (D-Texas), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker takes swipe at Biden criminal justice reform plan Democrats, advocacy groups urge Pompeo to abolish new 'unalienable rights' commission Biden announces plan to counteract mass incarceration MORE (D-N.J.) and New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioBiden announces plan to counteract mass incarceration Lawyer says suspect in mob boss killing believed he was on mission from Trump Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall MORE (D).

Thursday's debate will see Biden go head-to-head with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Biden leads 2020 Democratic field by 15 points, followed by Sanders and Warren Warren introduces bill to cancel student loan debt for millions Democrats, advocacy groups urge Pompeo to abolish new 'unalienable rights' commission MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisPoll: Biden leads 2020 Democratic field by 15 points, followed by Sanders and Warren Democrats, advocacy groups urge Pompeo to abolish new 'unalienable rights' commission Biden announces plan to counteract mass incarceration MORE (D-Calif.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll: Biden leads 2020 Democratic field by 15 points, followed by Sanders and Warren Biden announces plan to counteract mass incarceration Nashville radio host blocked by employer from airing his interview with Buttigieg 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.