Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden on Monday cast President Trump as an ineffectual bystander in his own administration who wants people to live in fear because he sees a political lifeline in fomenting violence in the country.
Mr. Biden said that the president has forfeited any “moral leadership” and that he’s failed to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an “armed militia.”“He can’t stop the violence – because for years he has fomented it,” Mr. Biden said in a speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Biden condemned the deadly rioting and protests that have occurred recently in cities like Portland, Oregon and Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting,” he said. “Violence will not bring change – it’ll only bring destruction.”
Mr. Trump’s team has said that people won’t be safe in “Joe Biden’s America” and that Mr. Biden is taking his marching orders from the rioters and the radical left.
“Ask yourself: do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” Mr. Biden said.
Mr. Biden said the president is “rooting for chaos and violence” and that he’s trying to “scare” the country into voting for him.
“He keeps telling you if only he was president, it wouldn’t happen…he keeps telling us if he was president, you’d feel safe,” he said. “Well, he is president whether he knows it or not.”
Mr. Biden cited an uptick in the murder rate and an average of 1,000 COVID-related deaths per day in August to ask: “Do you really feel safer under Donald Trump?”
“More cops have died from COVID this year than have been killed on patrol,” he said.
He said he’s never seen an American president as “subservient” to a Russian leader as Mr. Trump is to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Donald Trump’s role as a bystander in his own presidency extends to the economic plan and pain – the plan he doesn’t have and the pain being felt by millions of Americans,” he said.
Mr. Trump said he was watching Mr. Biden’s remarks.
“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!” the president said on Twitter.
Mr. Biden, who has generally declined to engage in freewheeling exchanges with reporters in recent months, did not take questions after the remarks.He spoke at a sustainable development facility that used to be a steel mill.
One person was shot to death in Portland, Oregon over the weekend amid clashes between Black Lives Matter activists and pro-Trump supporters.
Pro-Trump forces identified the victim, Aaron Danielson AKA Jay Bishop, as one of their own and blamed his death on Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists.
Democrats have blamed Mr. Trump for the violence, while the president and other Republicans have said the worst clashes are occurring in Democrat-run states and cities.
Two people were also killed last week in Wisconsin after the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police.
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