Trump on 2020 Democratic candidates: May God Rest Their Soul’  4/17/2019 12:40:13 PM   Steve Benen

In recent months, Donald Trump has periodically weighed in on the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, generally to dismiss the field of candidates and express confidence in his re-election. Occasionally, however, the president directs his attention to specific individuals.

Trump has, for example, invested an unsettling amount of energy into commenting on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) ancestry. More recently, the president took an interest in former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-Texas) hand gestures.

Last night, Trump turned his attention to the candidates at the top of the latest polls, initially mocking Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) over revelations from the senator’s newly disclosed tax returns. Given that the president and his lawyers are fighting desperately to keep Trump’s tax returns hidden from the public, it’s a curious subject for the Republican to bring up unprompted.

But the Pundit in Chief soon after added some related thoughts on the 2020 campaign.

I believe it will be Crazy Bernie Sanders vs. Sleepy Joe Biden as the two finalists to run against maybe the best Economy in the history of our Country (and MANY other great things)! I look forward to facing whoever it may be. May God Rest Their Soul!

Um, what?

Let’s put aside the fact that Trump uses Sleepy as a derisive nickname far too often. Let’s also put aside the fact that this is clearly not the strongest economy in American history.

Instead, let’s turn our attention to the May God Rest Their Soul phrase.

As a rule, that’s the sort of thing we might expect to hear in reference to someone who is dead, or will soon be dead. It’s reminiscent of may God have mercy on your soul, which is generally associated with executions.

So why exactly is Trump writing this? Is it some kind of jab at the candidates ages? Does he believe he’ll metaphorically kill them in a general election?

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