In an interview with POLITICO on Friday afternoon, Trump cast the former vice president as a clear, if flawed, front runner, noting that Biden had recently flubbed the name of Britain’s prime minister. And he compared Biden’s early success in a heavily crowded field to his own entry and rapid ascent in the 2016 Republican campaign.

“I look at it like my race” in 2016, the president said in a phone interview, predicting that Biden will remain at the head of the pack of 22 Democrats running for president.

Recalling his June 2015 campaign announcement at Trump Tower, he boasted, “If you remember, from the day I came down the escalator until the end of the primaries, I was in the number-one position. I was center stage every debate. And, you know, nobody came close.”