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Biden: 'Will We Rid Ourselves of This Toxin?'

He accuses Trump of 'stoking violence in our cities'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2020 3:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – Joe Biden spoke out on the protests gripping American cities in a speech in Pittsburgh Monday—and he didn't pull any punches when it came to President Trump, the New York Times reports. He accused the president of "stoking violence in our cities," adding: "He can't stop the violence because for years he’s fomented it." Biden also forcefully condemned looting, which Trump has accused him of ignoring. "Rioting is not protesting," he said, per the Washington Post. "Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It’s lawless. ... And those who do it should be prosecuted." He also rejected Trump's claim that he is a radical, the New York Times reports. "Ask yourself: do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters?" he said.

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"I want a safe America. Safe from COVID, safe from crime and looting, safe from racially motivated violence, safe from bad cops," Biden said. "Let me be crystal clear: safe from four more years of Donald Trump." He went on to call the president a "toxic presence" that has been "poisoning the values this nation has always held dear, poisoning our very democracy," the AP reports. "In just a little over 60 days, we have a decision to make: Will we rid ourselves of this toxin? Or make it a permanent part of our nation’s character?" he asked. In a tweet, Trump said it sounded to him like Biden was "blaming the Police far more than he’s blaming the Rioters, Anarchists, Agitators, and Looters." The White House later added a 5:30pm news conference to Trump's schedule. (Read more Joe Biden 2020 stories.)

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