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 TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed 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 ClintonMore than 200,000 Wisconsin voters will be removed from the rolls Trump is threatening to boycott the debates — here's how to make sure he shows up Trey Gowdy returns to Fox News as contributor MORE, as well as 2020 candidate and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Media organization fights Trump administration over Ukraine documents FOIA Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers 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 WarrenDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Krystal Ball rips Warren's 'passive-aggressive' swipes at rivals MORE (D-Mass.), former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeButtigieg picks up third congressional endorsement from New York lawmaker Klobuchar hires staff in Nevada Deval Patrick enters 2020 race MORE (D-Texas), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate Booker cancels NH activities, campaign says he has the flu Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Wisconsin: poll MORE (D-N.J.) and New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNYPD creates special unit for far-right and neo-Nazi threats Mayor accuses de Blasio of dumping New York's homeless in Newark Conservatives must absolutely talk politics at the Thanksgiving table MORE (D).

Thursday's debate will see Biden go head-to-head with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Reject National Defense Authorization Act, save Yemen instead MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSanders revokes congressional endorsement for Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate New poll finds Sanders surging to within 7 points of Biden in South Carolina MORE (D-Calif.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegButtigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Krystal Ball rips Warren's 'passive-aggressive' swipes at rivals Buttigieg: I share a lot of the same values as people protesting my fundraisers 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.