President Trump on Monday accused Democratic nominee Joe Biden of “blaming the police far more” than those behind recent violence in American cities, criticizing the former vice president after Biden placed responsibility for fomenting unrest at protests squarely at Trump’s feet.
“Just watched what Biden had to say. 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!” Trump tweeted Monday afternoon, claiming broadly that radical-left demonstrators have been behind the violence in American cities.
In a speech from Pittsburg on Monday, Biden sternly rebuked Trump, accusing him of “stoking violence in our cities.” Biden both condemned the violence and called for action to bring about racial justice in the United States.
“I want to be clear about this: Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting – it’s lawlessness – plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted,” Biden said. “The fires are burning – and we have a president who fans the flames rather than fighting them.”
Biden said that, if elected president, he would work to bring police to the table to address racial injustice, calling most law enforcement officers “good and decent people.”
“I believe I can bring those fighting for racial justice to the table,” Biden said. “I have worked with the police in this country for over forty years. I know most cops are good and decent people. I know the risk they take every day with their lives. And I am confident I can bring the police to the table.”
Biden has been under pressure from Trump and some Democrats to more extensively address the violent elements of the protests that have gripped cities across the United States.
Even after Biden condemned the violence during his Monday speech, Trump’s campaign issued a statement stating the former vice president “failed to condemn the left-wing mobs burning, looting, and terrorizing American cities.”
Trump has forcefully condemned the violence that has accompanied protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, in May. Trump has repeatedly blamed “Democrat-run” cities for not forcefully cracking down on the demonstrations, while his campaign argues that America would be less safe under a Biden administration.
Biden sought to dispel that argument during his speech Monday, noting that the current destruction was happening on Trump’s watch.
“These are not images from some imagined Joe Biden’s America in the future,” Biden said. “These are images from Donald Trump’s America today.”