Joe Biden at a campaign event in Wilmington, DE. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump and Joe Biden are going back and forth over the former vice president's "buy American" economic proposal, which Trump claims Biden "plagiarized" from him.

Why it matters: Biden is directly challenging Trump and his "America First" agenda with the release of his latest plan, focused on economic recovery and re-investing in American manufacturing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Trump called Biden's proposal both "very radical left" and evidence that his opponent is "copying what I've done."
  • The plan calls for spending at least $700 billion to create 5 million jobs in the U.S.
  • In a Thursday speech, Biden criticized the president for mishandling the federal response to the coronavirus, which has led to an economic crisis, and detailed his view for making the U.S. an economic powerhouse.
  • “When the federal government spends taxpayers’ money, we should use it to buy American products and support American jobs,” Biden said.

What they're saying: When asked about Biden's plan for the economy at the White House on Friday, Trump said: “He plagiarized from me, but he could never pull it off. He likes plagiarizing ... But he said the right things because he's copying what I've done, but the difference is he can't do it.”

  • Biden's deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, told Axios in a statement that Trump has "had four years to put in place Buy American policies, and he's failed to do so. Joe Biden will do it on day one."
  • She added they "welcome the debate between a real advocate for American workers — Joe Biden — with a phony who has broken his promises — Donald Trump."
"Joe Biden has been fighting for American workers and American manufacturers for decades — even back when Donald Trump was building hotels made with steel imported from China, selling made-in-China shirts and ties, and outsourcing American jobs for his personal profit.
As President, Trump broke his campaign promise to stop corporations from sending jobs overseas, and his corporate tax giveaways have actually encouraged companies to offshore factories and production. During the outset of the pandemic, he sent critical supplies overseas instead of keeping them here in the US."
— Kate Bedingfield, Biden deputy campaign manager

The other side: "The former Vice President supported every failed trade deal for a half a century – NAFTA, China, Korea, TPP – no politician in the U.S. is more responsible for the dismantling and destruction of the U.S. supply chain than Joe Biden," Alyssa Farah, assistant to the president, told Axios.

"No politician in the U.S. has offshored more jobs than Joe Biden. President Trump has spent the last three-and-half years bringing back the jobs that the former Vice President sent overseas."

Go deeper: Biden's 2020 rivals line up to pitch economic recovery plan

Go deeper

Updated Oct 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

"SNL" cold open tackles dueling Trump and Biden town halls

Clockwise from L-R: Maya Rudolph as Sen. Kamala Harris, Alec Baldwin as President Trump, Jim Carrey as Joe Biden and Kate McKinnon as NBC journalist Savannah Guthrie on "SNL." Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Alec Baldwin and Jim Carrey returned to "Saturday Night Live," as the cold open parodied this week's town halls of President Trump and Joe Biden — switching between the NBC and ABC broadcasts as a viewer might have.

The big picture: "SNL" spoofed the ABC town hall for asking "softball questions." Carrey's Biden said, "Unlike the president, I actually have a plan." When asked what that was, he replied, "It's a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something." In the NBC reimagination, Kate McKinnon's Savannah Guthrie asked about the president's coronavirus diagnosis. "My doctors say my lung is beautiful," Baldwin's Trump said.

Go deeper: Biden changes channel on "Trump Show"

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout

Trump campaign adviser: Battleground state polls matter most in race against Biden

Photo: Axios

Battleground state polls "matter the most" in this election, Trump's campaign adviser Steve Cortes said during an Axios virtual event on Friday, adding that those numbers illustrate a closer race than the national polls show.

Why it matters: Biden's national lead against Trump has widened to double digits, but the former vice president holds a narrower advantage in states needed for an Electoral College victory, such as Florida and Pennsylvania.

Oct 17, 2020 - Health

Kamala Harris to campaign in Florida on Monday

Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Image

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) took a COVID-19 test on Saturday and the virus was not detected, according to a campaign aide.

Driving the news: The Democratic vice presidential nominee paused her campaign travel through Sunday after her communications director tested positive for the coronavirus.