“The deadly violence we saw overnight in Portland is unacceptable,” Biden said in a statement. “I condemn this violence unequivocally. I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same.”
Biden is expected to travel to southwestern Pennsylvania on Monday to deliver remarks intended to contrast his vision of leadership with Trump’s, where, according to a statement from his campaign, he’ll ask voters to consider whether they are “safe in Donald Trump’s America.”
Trump tweeted in encouragement of the caravan of his supporters Sunday morning, calling them “GREAT PATRIOTS!” but has yet to condemn the violence in the city outright besides a litany of tweets and retweets disparaging the city’s Democratic mayor, Ted Wheeler.
“We must not become a country at war with ourselves,” Biden warned in his lengthy statement, arguing that the country is less safe because Trump is president.
“Donald Trump has been President for almost four years. The temperature in the country is higher, tensions run stronger, divisions run deeper. And all of us are less safe because Donald Trump can’t do the job of the American president,” the former vice president said.
Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown similarly blamed Trump. “For the last several years, and escalating in recent months, President Trump has encouraged division and stoked violence. It happened in Charlottesville. It happened in Kenosha. And now, unfortunately, it is happening in Portland, Oregon,” she said in a statement Sunday.
Trump and his campaign have attempted to seize on a message of “law and order,” arguing the violence is what can be expected in “Joe Biden’s America.”
“You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Vice President Mike Pence said during the Republican National Convention last week.
“Under President Trump, we will stand with those who stand on the Thin Blue Line, and we’re not going to defund the police — not now, not ever.”
Democrats, including Biden himself, have pushed back on that notion, even going so far as to say that Trump is actually inciting violence.
“If you think about it, Donald Trump saying you’re not going to be safe in Joe Biden’s America while all the video being played is in Donald Trump’s America,” Biden said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday.