Joe Biden lit into President Donald Trump on Wednesday, assailing his moral compass and asserting that the president “has publicly and unapologetically embraced a political strategy of hate, racism and division.”
Vowing that “we can’t, and I will not, let this man be reelected,” Biden warned an audience in Burlington, Iowa, that “everything that makes America America is at stake” in next year’s election.
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Biden tied the address to the pair of mass shootings that took place over the weekend — one of which was carried out by a suspect who mirrored some of Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric — linking the president in no uncertain terms to the growing threat of white supremacism in the U.S.
It’s not “that far at all” of a line from Trump’s language when discussing undocumented immigrants and neo-Nazi protesters in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 to various mass shootings throughout his presidency, Biden told the crowd.
“It’s both clear language and in code: This president has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation,” Biden said. Turning one of Trump’s favored insults back on him, the former vice president torched Trump for his “low-energy, vacant-eyed mouthing of the words written for him condemning white supremacists this week,” contending that “the energetic embrace of this president by the darkest hearts and most hate-filled minds in this country says it all.”
Biden on Wednesday appeared to have shifted some in his usual rhetoric about the president, moving away from previous assertions that Trump’s rise within the Republican Party was a flash in the pan that would disappear if he lost reelection. Decrying the “American carnage” the president promised he would put an end to in his inaugural address, Biden deployed a gloomy prognosis of his own.
“I wish I could say that this all began with Donald Trump and will end with him, but it didn’t and I won’t,” he said, referring to the rise in domestic terrorism. “American history is not a fairy tale.”
Still, he suggested the 2020 election was critical to stemming the tide of Trump’s influence.
“Limited to four years, I believe — and I really do believe this — that history will look back on this president as an aberrant moment in American history,” he said. “But if Donald Trump is reelected, I believe he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.”
The former vice president appeared to draw blood from Trump, who issued a dismissive tweet from aboard Air Force One as he traveled from the site of one shooting to the other to visit with survivors and first responders.
“Watching Sleepy Joe Biden making a speech,” Trump wrote, calling Biden’s speech “Sooo Boring!”
“The LameStream Media will die in the ratings and clicks with this guy,” he continued. “It will be over for them, not to mention the fact that our Country will do poorly with him. It will be one big crash, but at least China will be happy!”
“He should get a life,” Biden reportedly responded when Trump’s tweets were read to him by members of the press later.