Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden posted a message condemning the violence on his Twitter account Wednesday. President Trump quickly repudiated, arguing that during four months of violent protests, the Democrats remained “silent,” and only now are they reacting for political reasons and with the elections in mind.
Biden wrote on Twitter: “Needless violence won’t heal us. We need to end the violence—and peacefully come together to demand justice.”
Once again, a Black man — Jacob Blake — was shot by the police. In front of his children. It makes me sick.
Is this the country we want to be?
Needless violence won’t heal us. We need to end the violence — and peacefully come together to demand justice. pic.twitter.com/WdNqrxA3PK
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 26, 2020
After Biden’s message, President Trump gave his closing speech at the Republican Convention from the White House, where he questioned the sincerity of the message sent by his political opponent.
As reported by Fox News, President Trump accused Biden of maintaining a complicit silence about the riots that began with George Floyd’s death in late May, noting that even Democrats had ignored the issue during the four-day convention the week before. According to the president, they are only now beginning to mention it for political reasons.
Steve Guest, the Republican National Committee spokesman, told Fox News, “Joe Biden’s lengthy delay in condemning the leftist mob in response to the rioting that is ravaging America’s communities is more proof he is beholden to the radical left.”
On May 31, Biden issued a statement in which he said that “every person of conscience can understand the rawness of the trauma people of color experience in this country, from the daily indignities to the extreme violence, like the horrific killing of George Floyd. Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response.”
Days later, Fox News reported that Biden gave a speech from Philadelphia, in which he described Floyd’s death as a “wake-up call” to the United States. During that long speech, he briefly referred to the riots. He focused on maximizing alleged violence by police and the Trump administration: “We must be vigilant about the violence that’s being done by the incumbent president to our democracy and to the pursuit of justice.”
Over the past few months, Joe Biden’s strategy, both in the Philadelphia speech and in those that followed, was to spend much more time attacking alleged police brutality and the Trump administration’s response. He did not condemn the violence, nor identify the groups that promoted it as Antifa and Black Lives Matter.