Don Lemon Praises Joe Biden's Response on George Floyd Protests: 'This Is What Leadership Sounds Like'

Don Lemon heaped praise on former Vice President Joe Biden after the two spoke on CNN Friday. Lemon asked the presumptive Democratic nominee his opinion on the death of George Floyd at the hands of police and subsequent arrest of former officer Derek Chauvin. Biden said the arrest "justified."

"Our children are watching. They're not only watching, they're listening. They saw what happened," Biden said, via Mediaite. "This man had his knee on a man’s neck up against the curb for nine minutes. I don't know what else — what other conclusion can be reached." He also called for "a full-blown investigation and a civil rights investigation as well."

"Were I president now, I'd have the Justice Department, a civil Rights investigation right now to determine their culpability," Biden continued. When Lemon asked about the other three officers present at Floyd's fatal arrest, he admitted, "I don't have the facts to make that judgment." However, he went on to say that "you could see very clearly in the other photograph, you saw Floyd with his face up against the curb, a knee on his neck being pressed on, him saying 'I can't breathe, I can't breathe — there's nothing to be denied there," adding "you can look and see it."

After Biden's interview, Lemon told his CNN co-anchor Wolf Blitzer that "this is what leadership sounds like," comparing it starkly to President Donald Trump's "racist language that he had to clean up and that was even disavowed by very conservative groups." He also said he hopes "hope that that message spreads across this country and I hope that's where we leave it," while criticizing the nationwide division "the last couple of weeks."

As the November election nears, Biden has ramped up his attacks on Trump, both on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic as well as his apparent call to violence on Twitter toward the protesters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After stating he wouldn't "amplify" the president's tweet, Biden criticized him for "calling for violence against American citizens during a moment of pain for so many," He added that he was "furious, and you should be too." On Thursday, he used a tweet he had sent back in October warning that Trump did not have a pandemic response plan in place. He then compared it to a tweet sent by the president on the same day where he complained about the lack of a home button on the newer iPhone models.