Joe Biden Compares Trump to George Wallace — Who Was Shot While Campaigning

Joe Biden (Justin Sullivan / Getty)
Justin Sullivan / Getty

Former vice president Joe Biden told a gathering of black leaders in Los Angeles on Thursday that President Donald Trump reminded him of segregationist George Wallace’s presidential campaign in 1968.

Wallace, a Democrat, was later shot in an attempted assassination during the Democratic Party presidential primary race in 1972.

Biden joined fellow Democrats in criticizing President Trump for a chant, “Send her back!”, that some supporters used Wednesday evening as he criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for her antisemitic rhetoric.

Many, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) — one of Omar’s three colleagues in the left-wing Democrat “Squad” — said that Trump’s rhetoric could lead to violence. (Trump told reporters Thursday that he did not approve of the chant and would stop it if he heard it again at future rallies.)

Biden added that he disapproved of Trump’s rhetoric: “What presidents say matter [sic].”

Biden himself has faced criticism for his past praise of segregationists, as well as racially-charged statements. In 2012, during his re-election campaign with President Barack Obama, he told a largely black audience that Republican nominee Mitt Romney would “put y’all back in chains.”

Moreover, Biden had once boasted of his connections with Wallace, claiming to have received an award from Wallace in 1973.

Wallace, who died in 1998 had been a Democrat, though he is frequently described, in error, as a Republican. He ran in 1968 on a third-party ticket.

Later, in the 1980s, Wallace changed his views on race and won another term as governor, with the support of black voters.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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