Former Charlottesville, Virginia, Mayor Dave Norris is speaking out after former Vice President Joe Biden announced his 2020 presidential campaign Thursday with a video focused on an infamous violent incident within the city.
Biden’s announcement video features footage of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, referring to the event as a “defining moment” in U.S. history. “It was there on August of 2017 we saw Klansman, and white supremacists and neo-Nazis come out in the open, their crazed faces illuminated by torches, veins bulging, and baring the fangs of racism,” the candidate claimed.
The former vice president once again repeated the hoax claim that President Donald Trump referred to neo-Nazis as “very fine people” and criticized him for what he claimed was a comparison of “those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.”
In an interview with CBS 19, Norris said that while believes the video is a positive political advertisement for the city, he preferred if Biden spent time in city before making it the center of his campaign kick-off message.
“If you’re going to base your campaign on this town, get to know us a little better. Get to know what’s going on on the ground here and how we’re dealing with the after-effects of August 2017, and frankly, the after-effects of many years prior to August 2017,” said Norris.
Biden reportedly skipped over Charlottesville for his first live campaign event, opting instead for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The former Charlottesville mayor also said he thinks all 2020 White House hopefuls should visit the town and urged them not to use it as a prop before gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges residents faces in the aftermath of the protest.