Joe Biden zeroed in on President Trump’s claims about him and his promises of “law and order” in a return to the campaign trail Monday amid rising violence in US cities.
Speaking at a former steel factory in Pittsburgh, Penn., the 77-year-old Democratic nominee also addressed allegations that he would be weak and servile Trojan Horse for the left flank of his party, asking voters: “Do I look like a radical socialist?”
“[Trump] advertises himself as a figure of order. He isn’t,” Biden said in in the must-win state of Pennsylvania, calling the president a “toxic presence” who had “poisoned the values we as a nation hold dear.”
“Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames rather than fighting the flames,” he continued, attacking Trump on his central election promise of restoring order to America’s streets.
“This president long ago forfeited any moral leadership in this country. He can’t stop the violence — because for years he has fomented it,” Biden maintained.
The septuagenarian presidential candidate also scoffed at claims he would give in to the socialist agenda of progressives like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“You know me. You know my heart. You know my story — my family’s story. Ask yourself, do I look like a radical socialist?” he asked.
With just 64 days until the election, Biden’s kicking off a battleground state tour following a months-long hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Democratic nominee had been under mounting pressure to resume campaign travel and leave his Delaware home where he had been hunkered down for months to deliver a noticeable rebuke of Trump’s leadership amid deadly protests and rioting which has so far killed three people.
Biden addressed the riots in Portland and Kenosha and sparred with Trump’s claims that Americans would not be safe under a soft-on-crime Biden administration.
“They say, ‘You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.’ Where’s the proof?” Biden asked. “The violence we’re seeing is in Donald Trump’s America. These are images of Donald Trump’s America today.”
The former veep touted a 15 percent fall in violent crime during the Obama-Biden administration and asked if voters would really feel safer under Donald Trump than him.
While Biden has continued to appear in public — delivering his convention speech, announcing Kamala Harris as his VP and speaking on liberal TV networks CNN and MSNBC — he has taken questions from reporters just twice in the last two months.
He did not take shouted questions from reporters on Monday and has refused to sit down from an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
Biden’s delivered the remarks at Mill 19 in Pittsburgh, a former steel mill which is now a robotics research hub.
Biden continues to lead nationally in the polls with an advantage of 6.9 percentage points, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.
But the race is tightening, especially in battleground states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Biden’s numbers have continued to slip. In the last month, the former veep’s average lead in Pennsylvania dropped from 7.4 points to 5.8 points.
A self-confessed “gaffe machine,” the Democratic nominee’s campaign has kept him sequestered in his home for months on end as Trump zig-zagged across the country, giving speeches in must-win states such as Arizona.