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Does this Trump tweet ridicule elderly Americans?

Antonio Fins
Palm Beach Post
President Donald Trump speaks during a Latinos for Trump event at Trump National Doral Miami resort, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Doral, Fla. [AP Photo/Evan Vucci]

A tweet from President Trump, meant as a dig at Democratic rival Joe Biden, set off a Twitter debate Tuesday evening as critics say the posting ridiculed elderly Americans.

The social media missive comes as senior citizens in Florida are in play and could deliver a decisive bloc of votes in the Nov. 3 election. And the content of the tweet seemed to punctuate a charge Biden leveled at the president during a speech in South Florida Tuesday afternoon in which the former vice president charged that Trump views older Americans as "forgettable," "expendable" and "virtually nobody."

More:Biden to woo Florida base after appeals to crossover voters

"To Donald Trump, you are expendable, you are forgettable," Biden said at a senior citizen center in Pembroke Pines. "You are virtually nobody. That's how he sees us. That's how he sees you."

The target of the controversial Trump tweet was Biden. The image had Biden's campaign logo, which reads Biden for President. But the "p" in president had a red "x" crossing it out so that the text instead read as "Biden for Resident." 

Above the logo was a photograph from an apparent nursing home or long-term care facility with a group of seniors in wheelchairs. The former vice president's face was photoshopped onto one of the individuals seated in a wheelchair.

Screen grab of a tweet by President trump on Tuesday evening.

By midmorning Wednesday, the post totaled more than 460,000 likes anand had been retweeted over 150,000 times. But it also drew a backlash on Twitter.

Others defended the president's tweet saying he was simply poking fun at Biden.

The tweet came hours after Biden, campaigning in Broward County, said Trump was callously indifferent to the hardships being suffered by older Americans during the pandemic.

"So many lives have been lost unnecessarily because this president cares more about the stock market than he does about the well being of seniors," Biden said. "One day before we crossed the threshold of 200,000 deaths the president was at a campaign rally. And he insisted the virus affects virtually nobody, just elderly people with heart and other problems. Nobody. Think about that. Who was he talking about when he said it affects virtually nobody? He was talking about America's seniors. He was talking about you. He was talking about your family."

Polls show senior citizen voters, those age 65 and older, are favoring Biden this election. An NBC News/Wall Street journal survey said Biden leads in the important demographic group, 62% to 35%. And a CNN/SSRS poll found a similar spread, 60% to 39%, also in Biden's favor.