Joe Biden, the Democrat nominee for president, argued on Monday that President Donald Trump viewed the growing violence and rioting taking place across America’s cities as a “political lifeline.”
The former vice president, in his first public appearance outside the Delaware region since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, told supporters in western Pennsylvania that Trump was to blame for the growing social unrest. Biden, in particular, claimed that since the shooting of Jacob Blake by police last week, the president was trying to “save his campaign” by sowing political division.
“I look at his violence and I see lives and communities and the dreams of small business being destroyed. The opportunity for real progress on the issues of race and police reform and justice are being put to the test,” he said. “Donald Trump looks at this violence and sees a political lifeline.”
Biden argued that having failed to “protect the nation” from the coronavirus, Trump was trying to distract voters with calls for law and order.
“Just think about that, this is a sitting president of the United States of America,” the Democrat nominee said. “He’s supposed to be protecting this country, but instead he’s rooting for chaos and violence.”
“The simple truth is Donald Trump failed to protect America, so now he’s trying to scare America,” Biden added.
The former vice president’s speech comes as protests against Blake’s shooting and more broadly in opposition to police brutality and racial injustice have turned violent in several cities across the country. The situation, in particular, has escalated not only in Kenosha, but also in areas like Portland, Oregon, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In the face of such developments, Biden has been criticized by Republicans for waiting too long to denounce the violence and rioting. Some, including Trump himself, also claim that the Democrat nominee has not taken a forceful enough stance against the mounting unrest.
“Just watched what Biden had to say,” Trump tweeted on Monday shortly after the former vice president’s speech. “To me, he’s blaming the Police far more than he’s blaming the Rioters, Anarchists, Agitators, and Looters, which he could never blame or he would lose the Radical Left Bernie supports!”