Joe Biden will excoriate President Donald Trump as having “long ago forfeited any moral leadership in this country” and as someone who “can’t stop the violence — because for years he has fomented it” in a speech Monday.
“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,” the Democratic presidential nominee will say, according to excerpts released by the Biden campaign. “Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?”
Biden will then pivot to addressing what he sees as “multiple crises” that, “under Donald Trump, keep multiplying.”
“COVID. Economic devastation. Unwarranted police violence. Emboldened white nationalists. A reckoning on race. Declining faith in a bright American future,” Biden will say. “The common thread? An incumbent president who makes things worse, not better. An incumbent president who sows chaos rather than providing order.”
Biden’s address, set to take place in Pittsburgh, comes after three people died in recent days around protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin and Portland, Oregon. The Kenosha protests were triggered by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, seven times in the back while protests in Portland have been ongoing since late spring after the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, is accused of having opened fire Tuesday during a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, killing two people. Rittenhouse attended the protests armed with a long gun as militiamen descended upon the town in the name of protecting businesses from damage. Rittenhouse was arrested and charged with two counts of homicide, among other charges, in connection with the shooting at the protest.
In Portland, a man was shot and killed in Portland amid clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and a pro-Trump caravan on Saturday.
Portland police are investigating the shooting and it was not immediately clear whether that death was in direct connection to the protests. Video showed protesters hurling projectiles like water bottles at the Trump caravan while Trump supporters sprayed protesters with paintballs and what appeared to be pepper spray as lifted four-wheel-drive trucks were filmed driving through downtown Portland intersections filled with protesters.
Trump tweeted about Biden’s planned address Monday, claiming he “is coming out of the basement earlier than his hoped for ten days because his people told him he has no choice, his poll numbers are PLUNGING!”
“Going to Pittsburgh, where I have helped industry to a record last year, & then back to his basement for an extended period,” Trump added.
Biden issued a lengthy statement Sunday following the clashes in Portland, saying, “As a country, we must condemn the incitement of hate and resentment that led to this deadly clash.”
“What does President Trump think will happen when he continues to insist on fanning the flames of hate and division in our society and using the politics of fear to whip up his supporters?” Biden added, as Trump earlier Sunday posted a video of the pro-Trump truck parade and said they were “GREAT PATRIOTS!”
Biden’s speech follows Trump and his surrogates at the Republican National Convention promoting the idea that Americans won’t be safe under a Biden presidency. In turn, Biden and his supporters countered that Americans aren’t safe under Trump right now.