Biden: ‘Phony nationalism’ is ‘undermining the social fabric of the nation’

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions MORE on Wednesday tore into what he called “phony nationalism,” arguing it is "undermining the social fabric" of the United States.

Biden’s comments came at an Axios event focused on efforts to end cancer after Axios co-founder Mike Allen asked Biden for his “blunt take” on President Trump.

The former vice president lamented the loss of decency among politicians and citizens, citing a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August that turned violent.


“Did anyone of you ever think that you would see, in one of the historic cities of America, folks coming out from under rocks, and out of the fields with torches, carrying swastikas, literally reciting the same exact anti-Semitic bile we heard in the '30s?” Biden said.

“And then have those who were protesting compared as a moral equivalent to those people? Folks, this is eating at the fabric of this country. It is wrong," he continued.

“It’s undermining the social fabric of the nation, this phony nationalism,” Biden added.

He praised a speech last month by Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain to produce 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff' Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear An August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done Meghan McCain on Pelosi, McCarthy fight: 'I think they're all bad' MORE (R-Ariz.) condemning the rise of “half-baked, spurious nationalism," which was widely viewed as a critique of Trump's "America First" foreign policy.

Biden was then asked if he would have defeated Trump in the 2016 election. Biden’s wife, Jill, quickly interjected, "We’ve got to go!” as the crowd applauded to conclude the Q-and-A.