Joe Biden used an exceptionally inappropriate phrase during a speech in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Thursday calling for unity and healing after a local police shooting.
The video: Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, mostly spoke about how to address racial unrest in America but at one point veered into bemoaning inequalities in taxes.
- He then said he wouldn’t lay out his own tax plan in detail “because they’ll shoot me.”
The reaction: Biden’s impolitic comment — like several others related to race during the 2020 presidential race — earned headlines and ridicule.
Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communication director, later on Thursday tweeted a link to a Politico report highlighting the gaffe.
- Murtaugh, whose team has repeatedly raised questions about Biden’s mental fitness, suggested it showed why the former vice president has mostly campaigned from his basement in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Kenosha day trip was Biden’s first beyond his home state or neighboring Pennsylvania since the coronavirus pandemic started in March.
President Donald Trump — who during a visit to Kenosha on Tuesday stressed his support for law enforcement and opposition to riots — mocked Biden’s followup appearance as belated and irrelevant.
- “There was nobody there!” Trump told supporters at a Thursday evening rally in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, referring to the mostly empty pews at Grace Lutheran Church, where Biden spoke.
- “He was a little late. I said, ‘Listen, we ended that problem'” of rioting in Kenosha.
Trump also made fun of Biden for wearing a face mask during the speech, saying it “gives him a feeling of security.”
- “Did you ever see a man who likes a mask as much as him?” Trump asked the crowd, to laughter.
Biden’s big message: Biden accused Trump of stoking America’s racial divisions and promised that, as president, he would lead a national reckoning with “systemic racism” and the legacy of slavery, “the original sin of this country.”
- If elected, Biden promised to hold a “national commission on policing out of the White House” that would include police chiefs, civil rights activists, blacks and Latinos, saying, “We’re going to sit down there, and we’re going to work it out.”
- Regarding his campaign, Biden promised to “go down fighting for racial equality if necessary”: “There’s certain things worth losing over, and this is something worth losing over if we have to — but we’re not going to lose.