Aug 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden responds to Pence speech: The violence is in "Trump’s America"

Joe Biden speaks from behind a podium
Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Aug. 20. Photo: Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Joe Biden issued a statement Thursday rebuking Vice President Mike Pence for claiming in his RNC speech that "you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America," referencing Black Lives Matter protests and unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

The big picture: Trump and Pence are running on a "law and order" message amid nationwide unrest, and Republicans have relentlessly attacked Biden for what they claim has been a failure to denounce violent protests. Biden said unequivocally in his Thursday statement: "There is no place for violence, looting or burning. None. Zero."

Flashback: "Last week, Joe Biden didn’t say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country. Let me be clear: The violence must stop — whether in Minneapolis, Portland or Kenosha," Pence said on Wednesday.

  • "The hard truth is you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America. Under President Trump, we will stand with those who stand on the Thin Blue Line, and we’re not going to defund the police — not now, not ever."

The other side: "Did Mike Pence forget Donald Trump is president? Is Donald Trump even aware he’s president? These are not images from some imagined 'Joe Biden’s America' in the future. These are images from Donald Trump’s America today," Biden said.

  • "The violence we’re witnessing is happening under Donald Trump. Not me. It’s getting worse, and we know why."
  • "Donald Trump refuses to even acknowledge there is a racial justice problem in America. To solve this problem, first we have to honestly admit the problem. But he won’t do it. Instead of looking to calm the waters, he adds fuel to every fire."

What's happening: Protesters set buildings on fire in Kenosha this week, and a 17-year-old was charged with first-degree intentional homicide after two people were shot during the city's unrest.

Read Biden's full statement.

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