(Headline USA) Joe Biden condemned recent riots while also blaming — without providing evidence — that President Donald Trump for fomenting the divide that’s sparking it.
He dismissed his presidential opponent as incapable of tackling the violence himself.
“He doesn’t want to shed light, he wants to generate heat, and he’s stoking violence in our cities,” Biden said during remarks in Pittsburgh Monday. “He can’t stop the violence because for years he’s fomented it.”
Biden went on to denounce rioting, looting and arson at recent protests.
“It’s lawlessness, plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted,” he said, despite many of his liberal allies in major cities refusing to do so.
The message was considered an effort to blunt Trump’s “law and order” message, which has Democrats on their heels as public polls are turning against them. The crisis of violence in major cities went unaddressed during the Democratic National Convention two weeks ago.
Trump tweeted on Monday: “The Radical Left Mayors & Governors of Cities where this crazy violence is taking place have lost control of their ‘Movement.’ It wasn’t supposed to be like this, but the Anarchists & Agitators got carried away and don’t listen anymore – even forced Slow Joe out of basement!”
White House Press Secretary @KayleighMcEnany on the Media and Dems blaming @realDonaldTrump for violence in Democrat cities: “That’s like the arsonist blaming the firefighter.” pic.twitter.com/T5YcAltP03
— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) August 31, 2020
In Pittsburgh, Biden said of Trump, “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.”
Some citizens have found it necessary to protect their own lives and property, in the absence of law enforcement protection in Democrat-run cities plagued by violence.
In Kenosha, Wisconsin, the National Guard was finally deployed to quell demonstrations in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake — a black man who resisted arrest and threatened officers with a weapon — that have resulted in looting, vandalism, and the shooting deaths of two rioters in a possible self defense situation.
And this weekend, one of Trump’s supporters was shot at a demonstration in Portland, Oregon, prompting multiple tweets from Trump himself, including one late Sunday accusing Biden of failing to criticize the “agitators” at the protests.
On Sunday, Biden was finally forced to speak, and strongly denounced violent acts on any side.
“I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same,” he said in a statement.
“We are facing multiple crises — crises that, under Donald Trump, keep multiplying. COVID. Economic devastation. Unwarranted police violence. Emboldened white nationalists. A reckoning on race,” Biden said in Pittsburgh. “Declining faith in a bright American future. The common thread? An incumbent president who makes things worse, not better.”
Portland has seen nearly 100 consecutive nights of Black Lives Matter riots, turning the city into a wasteland with citizens and businesses fleeing.
Trump and other speakers at last week’s Republican National Convention frequently highlighted the urban riots, predicting that if Biden is elected in November such incidents will become the norm.
However, Biden accuses Trump of viewing the violence as a “political benefit.”
“He’s rooting for more violence, not less. And it’s clear about that,” Biden said last week.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.