Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday attempted to joke about his plans to raise taxes on the wealthy, telling Kenosha, Wisconsin, residents during a community event addressing the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake that he would be shot if he elaborated on his proposed tax policy.
“There’s so much we can do,” Biden began. “We can do it by just eliminating the tax cut for the top one-tenth of one percent, which is one trillion, 350 billion dollars that’s done nothing to help anybody.”
Joe Biden appeared to joke on Thursday that if he spoke any longer about his plan to increase taxes on the wealthy “he’ll shoot me,” as he addressed a group of Kenosha, Wisconsin, residents following the police shooting of Jacob Blake https://t.co/mfyED6lwFw pic.twitter.com/hVOcBLqtLN
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“Nineteen corporations making a billion dollars apiece don’t pay a penny in taxes,” Biden added. “I don’t want to punish anybody, but everybody should pay a fair share.”
“I’m not going to lay out for you, I won’t now because they’ll shoot me,” the former vice president then said, to silence from the audience.
It is unclear who Biden was referring to when he said “he’ll.”
Biden is spending Thursday in Wisconsin, two days after President Donald Trump traveled to Kenosha. Biden says he is seeking common ground that Trump is incapable of reaching with “law and order” rhetoric and repeated refusals to acknowledge racism confronting Americans with black and brown skin.
“I can’t say if tomorrow God made me president, I can’t guarantee you everything gets solved in four years,” Biden said. But “it would be a whole better, we’d get a whole lot further down the road” if Trump isn’t re-elected.
“There’s certain things worth losing over,” he concluded, “and this is something worth losing over if you have to — but we’re not going to lose.”
Before traveling to Kenosha, Biden spent more than an hour in Milwaukee in a private meeting with Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr., his siblings, and one of his attorneys, B’Ivory LaMarr. Blake’s mother Julia Jackson and another attorney, Ben Crump, joined by phone.
The younger Blake participated in the meeting by telephone “from his hospital bed,” Crump said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.