WASHINGTON (AFP, BLOOMBERG) - US President Donald Trump on Thursday (Oct 8) called Ms Kamala Harris, who is making United States history as the first black and Indian-American woman vice-presidential candidate, a "monster".
Mr Trump, far behind in the contest for the White House on Nov 3 and doing especially badly in polling of women voters, used the word twice, calling the Democrat "this monster".
Speaking to Fox Business News for almost an hour in his first interview since falling sick with the coronavirus, Mr Trump said Vice-President Mike Pence "destroyed" Ms Harris in their debate on Wednesday in Utah.
"This monster that was on stage with Mike Pence, who destroyed her last night by the way, but this monster she says 'no, no, there won't be fracking, there won't be this'," he said. "Everything she said is a lie."
Mr Trump also said that Ms Harris was "well beyond a socialist", calling her a "communist" to the left of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and "totally unlikeable".
The debate, Mr Trump said, "wasn't even a contest".
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, meanwhile, praised his running mate's performance.
"I thought Kamala did a great job last night," he said at the airport in New Castle, Delaware, as he prepared to travel to Phoenix. "I was really proud of her."
Senator Harris spent most of her debate attacking Mr Trump for presiding over what she said was "the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country" over the handling of Covid-19 outbreak.
In the Fox interview, Mr Trump once more branded Mr Biden, who is leading handily in almost every significant opinion poll around the country, "not mentally capable".
"Everybody knows that," Mr Trump claimed, predicting "Biden won't be president for two months".
Mr Trump, who for months has slurred Mr Biden as senile and previously called Ms Harris "nasty", also revived one of his darkest claims as a politician - that illegal Latin American immigrants equate to serious criminals.
Democrats "want to have thousands of people that are murderers, rapists, just pour into our country. They could be very sick people," he said.
Similar descriptions of undocumented migrants have been a staple of Mr Trump's brand ever since he announced his presidential run in 2015 with the statement that Mexicans coming to the US are criminals, "rapists and some, I assume, are good people".
A CNN/SSRS poll taken right after Wednesday night's vice-presidential debate found women overwhelmingly thought Ms Harris won, 69 per cent to 30 per cent, while men were evenly split.
Ms Harris' favourability rating also went up a few points among both men and women in the poll. The CNN poll of 609 registered voters who watched the debate had a margin of error of plus or minus 5.3 percentage points.