By ALEXANDRA JAFFE, JONATHAN LEMIRE and WILL WEISSERT Associated Press
Aug 31 2020
PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Declaring President Donald Trump a “toxic presence,” Joe Biden forcefully condemned the violence at recent protests while also blaming Trump for fomenting the divide that’s sparking it.
“He doesn’t want to shed light, he wants to generate heat, and he’s stoking violence in our cities,” Biden said Monday. “He can’t stop the violence because for years he’s fomented it.“
In one of his sharpest attacks on the president yet, Biden went on to call Trump a “toxic presence in this nation for four years” and accuse him of “poisoning the values this nation has always held dear, poisoning our very democracy.”
“In just a little over 60 days, we have a decision to make: Will we rid ourselves of this toxin? Or make it a permanent part of our nation’s character?” Biden asked.
The speech marked a new phase of the campaign as Biden steps up his travel after largely remaining near his home in Wilmington, Delaware, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And, after centering his candidacy on accusing Trump of mishandling the pandemic, Biden is making a broader push to argue that Americans won’t be safe if Trump wins reelection.