President Donald Trump said Monday that former Vice President and former senator Joe Biden's support for a 1994 crime bill that created the "three strikes" rule would hurt him with black voters, according to the New York Daily News.
President Trump in the same series of tweets, criticized Biden's support for the tough-on-crime law while touting his own role in advancing bipartisan criminal justice reform that aimed to curb over-incarceration.
"Super Predator was the term associated with the 1994 Crime Bill that Sleepy Joe Biden was so heavily involved in passing," President Trump wrote. "That was a dark period in American History, but has Sleepy Joe apologized? No!"
"Anyone associated with the 1994 Crime Bill will not have a chance of being elected," the president said in a tweet a little over an hour later. "In particular, African Americans will not be able to vote for you. I, on the other hand, was responsible for Criminal Justice Reform, which had tremendous support, & helped fix the bad 1994 bill!"
The president is referring to the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, signed by former President Bill Clinton. The most well-known result of the law was a policy of "mandatory life imprisonment without possibility of parole for Federal offenders with three or more convictions for serious violent felonies or drug trafficking crimes."
The law also included funding for border control and illegal immigrant deportations, as well as "enhanced penalties for failure to depart the United States after a deportation order or reentry after deportation."
Biden, as ranking minority member and eventually chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, contributed significantly to efforts to establish mandatory minimums for drug offenses and to curb violent crime. His role in the effort has been well-documented in recent years as a potential obstacle to his presidential ambitions.
A spokesman for Biden in 2015 claimed the then-vice president had actually opposed the three strikes aspect of the 1994 law, supposedly fearing unintended consequences.
Biden has not yet responded to the president's tweets.