President Donald Trump said "nobody likes" Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and it would be "an insult to our country" if she was the first female president.
"People don't like her," Trump told a North Carolina campaign rally. "Nobody likes her. She could never be the first woman president. She could never be. That would be an insult to our country."
Trump broadened his attack to Harris and her running mate, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, saying their ideas would "cripple" the U.S. economy.
Two weeks ago at a New Hampshire rally, the president said he wanted to see the first woman president someday, just not Harris because "she's not competent."
In recent days, Harris has lashed out at Trump over, among other things, fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Over the weekend, she was quoted as saying she would not take Trump's word alone on any potential vaccine.
In an interview excerpt broadcast by CNN on Saturday, Harris said that Trump had a track record of suppressing expert opinion about the coronavirus pandemic, and that she worried that might happen again in the case of a prospective vaccine.
"I would not trust Donald Trump," Harris said, saying she would be convinced of the efficacy of a vaccine only if someone credible were vouching for it as well.
"I will not take his word for it."
With the government's handling of the world's worst outbreak of the disease under close scrutiny, Trump has dangled the possibility that a vaccine might be ready ahead of the Nov. 3 election -- perhaps even next month.
But Trump has diverged from scientific advice about the virus in the past — eschewing masks, for instance, for months, before finally wearing one in public and beginning to call their use an act of patriotism. Some experts are skeptical that vaccine trials, which have to study potential side effects on a wide range of people before they can deliver a verdict, can be completed by late this year or even early next year.