Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Monday blamed President Donald Trump for encouraging racial unrest and sidestepping responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic as well as the economic crisis that followed.
As he spoke in Pittsburgh, Biden noted that Trump’s actions —or lack thereof, have made America unsafe.
“Do you really feel safer under Donald Trump?” Biden asked repeatedly.
This is the Democratic candidate’s first major campaign event and he delivered a forceful response to claims made by the Trump campaign that civil unrest and violence will continue and spread to the suburbs if Biden is elected President.
Biden likewise condemned violence and destruction and said it diminishes the life’s work of civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis.
“I want to be very clear about all of 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. “Violence will not bring change, it will only bring destruction. It’s wrong in every way.”
He continued to ask the audience, “You know me. You know my heart. You know my story, my family’s story. Ask yourself: Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?”
Biden also said Trump will “do anything to hold onto political power.”
“Donald Trump has been a toxic presence in our nation for four years,” Biden said. “Will we rid ourselves of this toxin? Or will we make it a permanent part of our nation’s character?”