While Joe Biden has been far from the perfect candidate to this point for many voters, the coronavirus pandemic and protests following the deaths of more black Americans at the hands of police has offered a chance to stand apart from Donald Trump. The president has been tweeting about shooting looters, claiming the protests are fake and thanking himself in the third person, earning plenty of criticism in the process.
Biden has been quiet for stretches but has made the most of his public statements and appearances. After a late-night message addressing the protests and outlining the need for peace, the former vice president hit the streets of Wilmington, Delaware to talk with business owners, citizens and protesters in the city. Following his message early Sunday morning, Biden made it clear that the protests were "right and necessary" in the face of police brutality and mistreatment.
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"It’s an utterly American response. But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not. Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not," Biden wrote in the medium post. "And I also know that the only way to bear it is to turn all that anguish to purpose. So tonight, I ask all of America to join me — not in denying our pain or covering it over — but using it to compel our nation across this turbulent threshold into the next phase of progress, inclusion, and opportunity for our great democracy."
The former VEEP urged protesters not to let the pain, rage, exhaustion felt around the nation destroy them or tear them apart. He would later hit Wilmington's streets, posing for photos with some of the people on the streets and speaking with those in the center of protests. Biden's caption for his photo on Instagram echoed his sentiments earlier in the AM.
Visiting the site of last night’s Wilmington protests, @JoeBiden gets some sage advice:
“You’ve got to get this crazy guy out of office.” pic.twitter.com/87dxHAo1P7— Olivia Raisner (@OliviaRaisner) May 31, 2020
"The only way to bear this pain is to turn all that anguish to purpose," Biden wrote. "And as President, I will help lead this conversation — and more importantly, I will listen, just as I did today visiting the site of last night's protests in Wilmington."
Chatter online indicated that Biden had been speaking to several mayors from cities affected by the unrest this week. He's also made it clear that he would do the opposite of Donald Trump if in office. Judging from Trump's recent comments and lack of firm leadership, we could be seeing a preview.