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Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump was in buoyant campaign mode at the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual spring dinner Tuesday.

Details: Trump declared Republicans would "take the House back" in 2020 and the GOP was working on an as-yet undisclosed "great" health care plan to be voted on after the elections. He dismissed Democratic candidates as "socialists" and mocked former Vice President Jo Biden over allegations of unwanted contact with women.

Why it matters: As Axios' Mike Allen notes, Trump's margin for error in the 2020 presidential election is much smaller than 2016, because he's being squeezed from the north and the south. At the NRCC dinner, he geed up the crowd with his declaration that he was "going into the war with some socialists."

On the southern border, Trump said he "really wanted to close it," but he has relented because Mexico has "apprehended over a thousand people today, at their southern border and they’re bringing them back to their countries."

On voter fraud, the president implied without further elaboration or evidence that Democrats had previously won close races. "We've got to watch those vote tallies," he said.

On healthcare, Trump declared the GOP would become the "champion of pre-existing conditions."

On China, the president said he gets along with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping "great" and once called him "king" during a 2017 state visit to Beijing. Xi pointed out he's not a king. "I said, 'No, you're president for life, and therefore you're king'," Trump told the crowd. "He said, huh. He liked that."

On Biden, Trump said he's the only 2020 Democratic candidate who's a "non-, sort of, heavy socialist" is "being taken care of pretty well by the socialists." Biden has yet to enter the race.

  • Trump recounted once telling a general to give him a kiss. "I felt like Joe Biden, but I meant it,” Trump said, to laughs from the audience.
  • Trump also made reference to sexual misconduct accusations leveled against him during his 2016 campaign in which a tape resurfaced of him discussing grabbing women's bodies. "I was going to call him," he said of Biden. "I don’t know him well; I was going to say, ‘Welcome to the world, Joe. You having a good time, Joe? You having a good time?"

On the Green New Deal, the president mocked the proposal and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who's spearheading it.

"The Green New Deal, done by a young bartender, 29 years old. The first time I heard it I said, 'That’s the craziest thing.' You have senators that are professionals that you guys know that have been there for a long time ... and they’re standing behind her shaking. They’re petrified of her."

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

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