Aug. 31 (UPI) — Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Monday that President Donald Trump is “stoking violence in our cities.”
“The incumbent president is incapable of telling us the truth,” Biden said while delivering remarks at a speech in Pittsburgh, Pa. Monday afternoon. “Incapable of facing the facts and incapable of healing. He doesn’t want to shed light. He wants to generate heat, and he’s stoking violence in our cities.”
Biden said he would make the country safer and referred to his record as vice president when violent crime fell 15% in the United States, adding that the murder rate is up 26% now under Trump.
He went onto speak about “violence in every form it takes,” including “unwarranted police shooting,” and excessive force. Among the incidents this year, Biden mentioned a Kenosha, Wis., officer shooting Jacob Blake, 29, seven times in the back in front of his children, leading to Blake being paralyzed from the waist down.
He also talked about George Floyd, 46, who died in police custody on May 25, in Minneapolis, Minn., with an officer placing his knee on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, and Breonna Taylor, 26, who was killed on March 13 by police in her own apartment in Louisville, Ky.
Ongoing protests in multiple states, notably Wisconsin and Oregon, have called for equality and justice following several police shootings of Black Americans. Clashes have turned deadly in Kenosha and Portland, Ore.
Trump is planning to visit Kenosha on Tuesday, amid opposition from state and local leaders who fear his presence will only fan the flames.
“Donald Trump adds fuel to every fire, because he refuses to even acknowledge that there’s a racial justice problem in America,” Biden said. “Because he won’t stand up to any form of violence. He’s got no problem with right-wing militia, white supremacists and vigilantes with assault weapons, often better armed than the police, often in the middle of the violence at the protesters and aiming it there.”
In Portland, protests against systemic racism have been going on for more than three months and turned deadly over the weekend. A man died amid fighting between a caravan of supporters for Trump and counter-protesters.
Biden also criticized the “violence of right-wing militias,” and “opportunists,” during protests.
The former vice president also said that he wanted to make clear that the “senseless violence of looting and burning and destruction of property,” was not protesting, but lawlessness and should be prosecuted.
Biden said that violence will only get worse if Trump’s re-elected.
“Fires are burning, and we have a president who fans the flames rather than fighting the flames,” Biden said. “He can’t stop the violence because for years he’s fomented it … 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 how weak he is.”
Biden said America would be safer if he were elected president because he would address the issue of racial justice. He said that he has personally spoken to the families of Floyd and Blake, and “they’ve told us none of this violence respects or honors George or Jacob.”
He added that he’s worked with police and knows most police are good, and he would bring the people fighting for racial justice and the cops both to the table.
Accusations of excessive force have led to Justice Department investigation into the use of force by federal law enforcement agents on protesters in Portland and Washington, D.C.
The Democratic presidential nominee said that if he’s elected president, he would make sure every “mayor and governor had the support that they needed from the federal government, but I wouldn’t be looking to use the United States military against our own people. I’d be looking to unite the nation.”
Biden also said that Trump has failed to get COVID-19 pandemic under control as schools reopen.
An average of 1,000 people have been dying every day in the month of August, Biden said, referring to COVID-19 deaths.
“Do you really feel safe under Donald Trump?” Biden asked.
Biden also said that more cops have died from COVID-19 this year than on patrol.
He also talked about healthcare, including Trump’s plans to destroy the Affordable Care Act and its coverage for pre-existing conditions and Trump’s plan he said would deplete social security funds.
Biden said he has a plan to build the economy “back better,” from the economic fallout of COVID-19, which he said Trump has made worse by failing to get the virus under control, including focusing on infrastructure, solar energy, jobs and health care, and he said that he would not ban fracking.
In response to critics, who Biden said have erroneously called him a “radical socialist,” he said that they only need to look at his personal story and his record to know that’s not true.
“Trump posts an all cap tweet, screaming ‘law and order’ to save his campaign,” Biden added. “Donald Trump failed to protect America, so now, he’s trying to scare America.”
“Donald Trump looks at this violence, and he sees a political lifeline, having failed to protect this nation from the virus that has killed more than 180,000 Americans so far,” Biden said.
Biden further criticized Trump, and then talked about who he is in contrast to the president and how he will work for a better future in America if elected president.
Biden said that unlike Trump, he will “advance the truth” that everyone’s “born with the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness,” regardless of politics, race, ethnicity or where they live in the country.
“Does anyone believe there’ll be less violence in America if Donald Trump is re-elected?” he asked. “We need justice in America. We need safety in America. We’re facing multiple crises. Crises that under Donald Trump have kept multiplying, COVID-19, economic devastation, unwarranted police violence, emboldened white nationalists, a reckoning on race, declining faith in a bright American future.”
“The common thread? A president who makes things worse — not better,” Biden added, not only domestically but abroad.
Biden said Trump failed to call out the subject of the Kremlin placing “bounties on the heads of our American soldiers” on a mobile phone call with President Vladimir Putin. Russian forces also recently attacked U.S. troops in Syria, injuring service members, but Trump was again quiet, Biden said.
“It’s not only dangerous, it’s humiliating and embarrassing for the rest of the world to see,” Biden said.