Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the White House, on Tuesday sharply criticized president Donald Trump’s handling of the ongoing protests and, more specifically, posing outside a church damaged in the protests, in a speech that many said showed the kind of leadership and message that is missing.
“When peaceful protestors are dispersed by the order of the President from the doorstep of the people’s house, the White House — using tear gas and flash grenades — in order to stage a photo op at a noble church, we can be forgiven for believing that the president is more interested in power than in principle,” Biden said in a speech in Philadelphia.
Biden took also took aim at Trump for posing with a copy of the Bible. “If he opened it instead of brandishing it, he could have learned something: That we are all called to love one another as we love ourselves.”
Biden’s speech was widely welcomed, by critics of the president, as kind of unifying message and leadership currently needs, instead of the incendiary rhetoric deployed by the president, who has called the protests “terror” and the protestors as “thugs”.
“Look, the presidency is a big job,” Biden said. “Nobody will get everything right. And I won’t either. But I promise you this. I won’t traffic in fear and division. I won’t fan the flames of hate.”
This was Biden’s first speech outside his home state of Delaware to a live audience since Covid-19 sent his and all other election campaigns indoors.