Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images
Updated at 3 p.m. ET
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden vigorously opposed President Trump’s campaign message on Monday that voters would not be safe under a Biden administration.
“The simple truth is that Donald Trump couldn’t protect America. Now he’s trying to scare America,” Biden said in a remark at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Calling Trump greedy for power, Biden lambasted the president for what Biden sees as a lack of moral leadership – a general renunciation of the former vice president on the campaign.
“We are facing several crises – crises that continue to multiply under Donald Trump,” said Biden. “COVID, economic devastation, unjustified police violence, encouraged white nationalists, a race reckoning, diminishing confidence in a bright American future. The common thread? An incumbent president who makes things worse, not better. An incumbent president who tends to chaos sows as chaos. ” Create order. “
Biden’s trip to Pennsylvania comes amid national protests over police brutality and the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The shootout led to rioting for several days in the city, in which two people were allegedly shot dead by armed vigilantes. In Portland, Oregon, a man was fatally shot and killed on a night of confrontation between Trump supporters and counter-protesters.
“”[Trump] I can’t stop the violence because he fueled it for years, “said Biden.” He may believe that uttering the words “law and order” makes him strong, but his failure to encourage his own followers to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows how weak he is. “
Trump, who will be traveling to Latrobe, Pennsylvania, for a campaign rally on Thursday, has apparently seen Biden’s remarks and tweeted that, in his view, Biden “blames the police far more than the rioters, anarchists, agitators and looters.” “”
I just saw what Biden had to say. For me he blames the police far more than the rioters, anarchists, agitators and looters, whom he could never accuse or he would lose the support of the radical left, Bernie!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2020
Trump continues to present himself as the president of “hard crime,” a message that was at the fore during last week’s Republican Convention.
In a statement following Biden’s remarks, Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump campaign, said: “As predicted, Joe Biden today did not condemn the left-wing mobs that are burning, looting and terrorizing American cities.”
But Biden actually doubles a previous statement condemning violence resulting from various protests, saying on Monday, “Riots don’t protest. Lootings don’t protest. Setting fire doesn’t protest. None of this protest. It’s lawlessness, clear and simple. ”
He added that those who loot and burn buildings should be prosecuted.
“You know my heart,” added Biden in Pittsburgh. “You know my story, the story of my family. Ask yourself: Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really? I want a safe America, safe from COVID, safe from crime and looting, safe from more racially motivated Violence, safe from bad cops. “
Biden said Trump viewed cases of violence as his “political lifeline”.
“He keeps telling you that if he were just president it wouldn’t happen,” Biden said. “If he were president you would feel safe. Well, he’s president whether he knows it or not. And it happens. It gets worse and you know why? Because Donald Trump adds fuel to every fire.”
Biden argued that he would be able to unite the country and promote healing, saying he would give up the divisive language Trump uses and address both the police and those who fight for racial justice Bringing the table to bring about lasting change.
Biden then apparently tried to use Trump’s tactics against him, saying the real fear Americans are in lies in the destabilization brought about by Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, his plans to undermine social security programs, and his relationship with leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin came into being.
“Never before has an American president played such a subservient role to a Russian leader. It is not only dangerous, but also humiliating and embarrassing for the rest of the world. It weakens us,” said Biden.