Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Monday criticized President Trump over his response to multiple crises in the country that “keep multiplying” under him.
Biden began his speech by condemning the violence that has erupted during recent protests in Portland, Oregon and Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting,” Biden said. “It’s lawlessness. Plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted. Violence will not bring change. It will only bring destruction. It’s wrong in every way.”
Biden then tore into Trump for having “long ago forfeited any moral leadership in this country” and argued that he “can’t stop the violence because for years he’s fomented it.”
“Fires are burning and we have a President who fans the flames,” Biden said. “Rather than fighting the flames. But we must not burn. We have to build.”
Biden appeared to call Trump out specifically over only condemning Black Lives Matter protesters following a violent clash in Portland, Oregon that happened after his supporters descended upon the city, which resulted in the fatal shooting of one person. On Sunday morning, Trump praised his supporters involved in the violent clash by tweeting a video of his supporters driving into Portland and calling them “GREAT PATRIOTS.”
“He may believe mouthing the words law and order makes him strong, but his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows you how weak he is,” Biden said.
The former VP later took aim at Trump’s claim that “you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”
“What is their proof? The violence we are seeing in Donald Trump’s America,” Biden said.
Additionally, Biden questioned whether anyone believes there will be less violence if Trump wins re-election and argued that the multiple crises that the country is facing — which include COVID-19, economic devastation, police brutality, white nationalism and a reckoning on racism — will only “keep multiplying” under Trump’s watch.
“An incumbent president who makes things worse, not better,” Biden said. “An incumbent president who sows chaos rather than providing order.”
Biden concluded his speech by saying that Trump “has been a toxic presence in our nation for four years” and that the President is “determined to instill fear in America.”
“That’s what the entire campaign has come down to: fear. But I believe Americans are stronger than that,” Biden said. “I believe we’ll be guided by the words of Pope John Paul II, words drawn from the scriptures. ‘Be not afraid, be not afraid.’ Fear never builds the future, but hope does.”
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