Biden Says Trump Is ‘Rooting’ for More Violence to Help His Re-Election
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday condemned violence stemming from protests and accused President Donald Trump of wanting it to help boost his re-election chances.
“He views this as a political benefit to him. He’s rooting for more violence,” Biden said on MSNBC. “He’s encouraging this. He’s not diminishing it at all. This is his America now.”
The former vice president quoted Trump aide Kellyanne Conway saying that chaos would be better for their side. “When has a president ever -- a spokesperson for the president ever said something like that?” Biden asked.
Biden said he is open to visiting Wisconsin following days of violent protests there after police shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, but that it would have to be done safely and that he did not want to “become part of the problem.” Tension there spiked after a teenager shot and killed two protesters.
Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, also condemned violent protest and looting, but called for protection of peaceful marches.
“We must always defend peaceful protest and peaceful protesters. We should not confuse them with those looting and those committing acts of violence,” she said, urging people not to allow “vigilantes” to confuse the conversation about systemic racism.
Biden also addressed attacks on the seriousness of his Catholic faith from Catholic allies of Trump. “I think it’s kind of preposterous,” Biden said. “I never miss Mass. It’s part of who I am.”
The candidate also pushed back on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion earlier Thursday that he skip debating Trump. “As long as the commission continues down the straight and narrow as they have, I’m going to debate him,” he said. “I’m going to be a fact-checker on the floor, while I’m debating him.”
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