President Donald Trump’s campaign criticized Joe Biden for a promise the Democrat nominee recently made that he would not use the National Guard to intervene in civilian law enforcement matters.
“Joe Biden just yesterday indicated he would not send the National Guard into cities and states where left-wing mobs are rioting – in Portland’s case, for more than three months,” Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s communications director, said in the statement obtained by Breitbart News. “Law-abiding Americans will be on their own if Biden and his allies are elected in November.”
The Trump aide further castigated Biden for having “remained silent” in recent months as “rampant violence and destruction” overtook America’s cities while urban leaders, many of them Democrats, “rejected federal assistance and ordered local police to let rioters run wild.”
“It’s obvious that law-abiding Americans will be on their own if Biden and his allies are elected in November,” he added. “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”
Murtaugh’s statement came one day after the former vice president assured members of the National Guard that he would never use the military as a “prop” in domestic political disputes.
“I promise you as president, I’ll never put you in the middle of politics or personal vendettas,” Biden said during a virtual address to the National Guard Association of the United States. “I’ll never use the military as a prop or as a private militia to violate the rights of fellow citizens. That’s not law and order. You don’t deserve that.”
Under current law, the commander-in-chief cannot use the military to enforce domestic laws, which has generally been the province of state and local law enforcement. Generally, during previous periods civil unrest, such as riots or labor strikes, state and local elected officials have requested the president to federalize the national guard and end the discord.
In recent months, however, state and local officials, most notably those affiliated with the Democrat Party, have been unwilling to send in the National Guard in large numbers to areas of protest and violence for fear of exacerbating tensions.
“You don’t defuse violence by putting soldiers on the streets,” Gov. Kate Brown (D-OR) said in June, when Trump first urged her to send in the guard to deal with unrest in Portland, Oregon.
As governors have refused to either deploy the guard overall or send enough units to handle the unrest, calls have emerged for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807. The law, which was used successfully during the Civil Rights era to integrate schools and universities, allows a president to send federal troops into states to restore order and peace. In most prior instances, the act has been invoked at the request of state governors, such as during the Rodney King Riots in 1992. It can, however, be invoked by the president if a state government undergoes insurrection or is unable or refuses to protect the constitutionally protected rights of its citizens.