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Camapign Press Release - Joe Biden Condemns All Violence, While Donald Trump Refuses To

October 07, 2020

At a time when communities across the country have gathered to call for equal justice for all Americans, Donald Trump persists in his political strategy of division. He has fanned the flames of hatred and refused to condemn all violence. Just last month, Trump's longtime advisor and 2016 campaign manager Kellyanne Conway even said of protests following the tragic murder of George Floyd that the more violence, the "better it is" for Trump's reelection. This is Donald Trump's America.

Joe Biden has been very clear: violence is unacceptable, no matter who commits it. He has shown by example that a real leader can stand up for equal justice -- listening to the families and communities in pain, and taking action to unite the country -- while unequivocally condemning violence of all kinds.

Why can't Trump do the same?

  • CNN, 8/30/20: "Biden condemns violence in Portland and calls on Trump to do the same"
  • CNN, 8/31/20: "Trump refuses to denounce violent actions by right-wing agitators"
  • Huffington Post, 8/31/20: "Trump Ducks Question About Accused Teen Shooter In Kenosha"
  • Washington Post, 8/30/20: "'Great Patriots!': Trump Lavishes Praise On Supporters Amid Deadly Clashes With Social Justice Protesters"
  • New York Times, 8/27/20: "Conway says the more violence erupts, 'the better it is' for Trump's re-election prospects."
  • The New York Times, 7/15/20: "In Days of Discord, a President Fans the Flames"
  • CNN, 6/1/20: "For days, Trump turned to provocative rhetoric and egged on state violence. On Twitter, he urged police to 'get tough and fight,' threatened to send 'vicious dogs' on protesters near the White House, and called for 'many arrests.' He borrowed a phrase -- 'when the looting starts, the shooting starts' -- from a 1960s-era police chief who championed violent police crackdowns."
  • ABC, 5/30/20: "The most recent instance even prompted Twitter to post a warning label on the president's tweet -- and on an official White House tweet which [sic] identical language -- claiming the tweets violated its rules about 'glorifying violence.'"
  • Vox, 5/30/20: "Trump's policies have enabled police violence against black Americans"

Portland and Kenosha are hardly the first instances of Trump's refusal to categorically and unequivocally condemn violence. After 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed protesting a rally of neo Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Trump said there were "very fine people on both sides."

  • The Guardian, 8/16/17: "The statement was widely criticized by lawmakers from both parties, including senior Republicans who were quick to describe the events as an act of domestic terrorism."
  • Vox, 4/26/19: "Unite the Right was explicitly organized and branded as a far-right, racist, and white supremacist event by far-right racist white supremacists. This was clear for months before the march actually occurred. So by casting the rally instead as a sort of spontaneous outpouring from Confederate statue enthusiasts, Trump is rewriting history."
  • The Atlantic, 8/15/17: "Throughout his campaign, he was reluctant to disavow the white nationalists who have formed a vocal segment of his supporters. [...] Speaking to reporters shortly afterward, white nationalist Richard Spencer told reporters he didn't see Trump's remarks as a condemnation of his movement."
  • The New York Times, 8/15/17: "Trump Gives White Supremacists an Unequivocal Boost"

Let's not forget that Donald Trump is also the candidate who tear-gassed peaceful protestors for a photo-op and vilely bragged that he could shoot someone in public with impunity.

  • NPR, 6/1/20: "Peaceful Protesters Tear-Gassed To Clear Way For Trump Church Photo-Op"
  • Politico, 1/23/16: "'I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters,' Donald Trump said on Saturday. 'It's, like, incredible,' he said of his support during a rally at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa."

Joseph R. Biden, Camapign Press Release - Joe Biden Condemns All Violence, While Donald Trump Refuses To Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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