PITTSBURGH, Pa. (AP) — Joe Biden is mounting a more aggressive offense against President Donald Trump with a rare public appearance in Pittsburgh on Monday, where he’s expected to say Trump is contributing to the violence in the streets nationwide.
According to a campaign aide, the Democratic presidential nominee will accuse Trump of exacerbating unrest and will make the argument that the violent turn some of the recent protests is the Trump administration’s problem.
Trump and Republicans are increasingly running on a “law and order” message heading into the November elections, highlighting violence at protests focused on criminal justice reform as examples of what the country will look like under a Biden administration.
In Kenosha, Wisconsin, the National Guard was deployed to quell demonstrations in response to a police shooting of a Black man that have resulted in looting, vandalism and the shooting deaths of two protesters.
And this weekend, one of Trump’s supporters was shot at a demonstration in Portland, Oregon, prompting multiple tweets from Trump himself, including one late Sunday erroneously accusing Biden of failing to criticize the “agitators” at the protests. Biden did, however, issue a statement Sunday afternoon denouncing the violent acts.
“I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same,” he said in the statement.
Portland has seen nearly 100 consecutive nights of Black Lives Matter protests and many have ended with vandalism to federal and city property.
Trump and other speakers at last week’s Republican National Convention frequently highlighted incidents of violence at protests that were sparked by the police killing of George Floyd last May, charging that if Biden is elected in November such incidents will become the norm.
Biden has repeatedly denounced violence at these protests, and last week accused Trump of viewing the violence as a “political benefit.”
“He’s rooting for more violence, not less. And it’s clear about that,” he said.