Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden emerged from his much-criticized basement on Aug. 31 to give a speech in Pittsburgh in which he harshly denounced Donald Trump. The president “fans the flames rather than fighting the flames” as his supporters go about stirring up the violence that has plagued America since the death of George Floyd, Biden claimed.
Biden turned the gloom-filled tone of his address at the Democratic National Convention up a few notches, painting the president as a scheming architect fomenting riots for political advantage. He did not reproach the radical Antifa movement or Black Lives Matter, the Marxist-aligned organization whose members have led most of the protests in major American cities over the past three months.
The former vice president began by decrying the lawlessness that Americans have observed all summer, and which many Democrats fear has provided a significant boost to the Trump campaign. “I want to be very clear about all of this – rioting is not protesting,” Biden said. “Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted.”
Trump Backers Are the Real Thugs
After those introductory comments, the former longtime Delaware senator proceeded to hurl vitriol at his Republican rival, utilizing some of his most robust language yet to cast the Trump administration as a malevolent force tearing at the very fabric of the nation.
“Donald Trump has sought to remake America in his image: selfish and angry, dark and divisive,” Biden declared at one point. “Donald Trump looks at this violence and he sees a political lifeline.”
Trump backers were castigated for engaging in violence at the president’s behest.
“He may believe mouthing the words law and order makes him strong,” Biden proclaimed. “But his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows how weak he is. Does anyone believe there’d be less violence in America if Donald Trump is re-elected?”
He later repeated his remarks about Trump supporters instigating 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,” Biden said. He added:
“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. Safe from COVID. Safe from crime and looting. Safe from racially motivated violence. Safe from bad cops. Let me be crystal clear – safe from four more years of Donald Trump.”
Still Kept Under Wraps
Although Biden was outside the safe confines of his basement, his speech was delivered in a tightly controlled environment. There was no audience near him except for a handful of reporters who were unable to ask questions at the conclusion of his remarks. If the address was meant to let Americans know that Biden is able and eager to vigorously hit the campaign trail amid questions about his advanced age and often-fragile appearance, there was nothing about this event to drive that message home. He talked for less than 24 minutes and immediately exited the stage.
There were a couple of flubs but nothing horrifically damaging. Biden got entirely tripped up while trying to deliver a line about the number of deaths in America due to the Coronavirus. Also, while listing various dire problems he said the country is facing under Trump’s leadership, the Democrat standard-bearer, who turns 78 on Nov. 20, stumbled confusedly over the last item.
“We’re facing multiple crises,” he declared. “Crises that under Donald Trump have kept multiplying. COVID, economic devastation, unwarranted police violence, emboldened white nationalists, a reckoning on race, declining faith, and the birth … [pause] … and of the right American future.”
While Biden mentioned the Coronavirus crisis frequently, his major theme, similar to that of his speech at the Democrat convention, was that Trump is a pathogen plaguing the American body.
“Donald Trump has been a toxic presence in our nation for four years,” he luridly contended. “Poisoning how we talk to one another, poisoning how we treat one another, poisoning the values this nation has always held dear, poisoning our very democracy.”
“Will we rid ourselves of this toxin?” he continued. “Or will we make it a permanent part of our nation’s character?”
The astonishing stridency of those words didn’t prevent Biden from claiming the political high road only seconds later.
“You know, as Americans, I’m confident we believe in honesty and decency,” he uttered immediately after calling his opponent a bacillus. “Treating everyone with dignity and respect … and demonizing no one.”
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.