Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made his first speech of the fall campaign on Monday afternoon in Pittsburgh, PA reported Fox News. The former vice president mostly used his time to attack his opponent, President Donald Trump.
Biden finally condemned the violence happening in cities across the country this summer after the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, MI in late May. “It’s lawlessness, plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted,” Biden said. Many in his party had been calling on Biden to denounce the violence, especially after the Democratic National Convention failed to contain any mention of the street riots and President Trump’s aggressive denunciation of the violence.
Biden accused Trump of fomenting the violence, saying that the President “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 also claimed, “this president long ago forfeited any moral leadership in this country. He can’t stop the violence – because for years he has fomented it … fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames rather than fighting the flames.” The former VP did not elaborate on exactly what he meant by this or give any examples in support of his charges.
Trump tweeted a response to Biden’s speech soon after it was completed. “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!” Biden is currently looking to pivot away from the leftist approach he took to appeal to the party base during the Democratic primary campaign, while still trying to attract the support of progressives who supported the candidacy of Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
The former vice president tried to counter the Republicans’ claims that he is a thrall of the left-wing of his party. He invoked his 47-year career in politics saying, “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? I want a safe America.”
The Trump campaign’s response to Biden’s speech was swift as well. “As predicted, Joe Biden today failed to condemn the left-wing mobs burning, looting, and terrorizing American cities,” said Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh. “He failed to condemn Antifa. He failed to condemn people who called the police a ‘cancer’ or people on his campaign staff who called them ‘pigs.’ You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”
TheEagle.com reported that Biden also said, “I am not banning fracking, no matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me,” in an attempt to distance himself from statements he made during the primary season. Then, Biden promised numerous times to adopt a “no new fracking” line, as well as ending the use of oil and natural gas in the United States as reported by Forbes. Pennsylvania is a key battleground state that has benefitted tremendously from fracking. This controversy recalls the problems Hillary Clinton faced in 2016 when she asserted in March of that year, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”