Monday may have presented voters with what could become a major theme of the 2020 race between President Trump and Joe Biden. The president met with and praised police, while the former vice president met with the family of George Floyd. As the Los Angeles Times sees it, Trump looks intent on pushing a law-and-order message while portraying Biden and Democrats as "radicals" who would abolish police departments. "We won’t be defunding our police," Trump said, per the Guardian, referring to the push to redirect money from police departments. "There won’t be dismantling of our police." Biden, meanwhile, met for an hour in private with members of the Floyd family in Houston. "He listened, heard their pain and shared in their woe,” said family attorney Benjamin Crump. "That compassion meant the world to this grieving family."
However, the contrast isn't so simple. Biden also pushed back against the idea of "defunding the police," a phrase with multiple meanings. He did, though, call for reform. "No, I don’t support defunding the police," he told CBS News. "I support conditioning federal aid to police based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness." A spokesman said that Biden not only opposes cuts in police funding, he thinks increases might be necessary for improvements. In short, he has begun walking "a cautious line" between the moderate and more drastic demands for overhauling police departments, per the New York Times. The story adds that this is familiar ground for Biden: All throughout his long political career, he "has carefully balanced the passions of activists with the sensibilities of the political center." (Read more President Trump 2020 stories.)