August 31, 2020 at 7:35 AM EDT
Biden to use speech in Pittsburgh to address protests and violence
Biden is making a hastily planned trip to Pittsburgh on Monday afternoon to offer remarks on “whether voters feel safe in Donald Trump’s America,” as Trump tries to reframe the 2020 race as a “law-and-order” election amid unrest over racial injustice that has turned violent recently.
“I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same,” Biden said in a statement Sunday, reacting to violence that turned deadly in Portland, Ore. “The job of a president is to lower the temperature.”
In his remarks Monday, Biden will also “offer a different vision for a better future,” according to his campaign.
Trump has seized on social justice protests as a campaign wedge, attempting to tie Biden to “radical” elements on the left. Both he and Biden are moving to address protests and violence in a more prominent way this week.
Trump on Tuesday is set to travel to Kenosha, Wis., where a police shooting left Jacob Blake, a Black resident, paralyzed and provoked street protests that culminated in the shooting deaths of two others. Kyle Rittenhouse, a White 17-year-old who had illegally obtained a rifle, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the killings, which came after a fledgling militia group had posted a call to arms on Facebook.
In late-night tweets on Sunday, Trump taunted Biden ahead of his scheduled remarks on Monday.
“When is Slow Joe Biden going to criticize the Anarchists, Thugs & Agitators in ANTIFA?” Trump wrote. “When is he going to suggest bringing up the National Guard in BADLY RUN & Crime Infested Democrat Cities & States? Remember, he can’t lose the Crazy Bernie Super Liberal vote!”
Biden’s trip to Pennsylvania — a key battleground state — comes as his campaign is pledging a more robust travel scheduled in the closing stretch of the race. Trump narrowly carried Pennsylvania over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
By John Wagner and David Nakamura