Biden: 'We need to recognize that words matter' in wake of violence

Biden: 'We need to recognize that words matter' in wake of violence
© Greg Nash

Former Vice President Biden said Tuesday he's "sick and tired" of the hostility in the country in the wake of a violent week that saw a spate of mailed bomb, a massacre at a synagogue and a deadly shooting outside a Kentucky supermarket.

"I am sick and tired of this administration. I’m sick and tired of what’s going on. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I hope you are, too," Biden said at a campaign rally for Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinDems offer smaller step toward ‘Medicare for all' Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Powerful House committee turns to drug pricing | Utah governor defies voters on Medicaid expansion | Dems want answers on controversial new opioid Why does the bankruptcy code discriminate against disabled veterans? MORE's (D-Wis.) re-election bid.

"Three times this past week the forces of hate have terrorized our fellow Americans for their political beliefs, the color of their skin or their religion," Biden added.

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The former vice president highlighted a shooting at a Kentucky supermarket that left two dead after police said the alleged gunman unsuccessfully tried to enter a predominantly black church. 

Biden also noted the series of pipe bombs mailed to a number of prominent Democrats, including himself, and a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE and lawmakers in both parties have condemned the acts and called for unity in the wake of the incidents, while pointing fingers at the other side of the aisle for inflaming political tensions leading up to the violence.

Trump has denied that he bears responsibility and rejected calls to tamp down his rhetoric in the closing days of the midterm campaign.

"We need to recognize that words matter. Words matter," Biden said Tuesday. "Our political opponents are not my enemy. The press is not the enemy of the people. Before we’re Democrats or Republicans or independents, we’re all Americans. Sounds corny, but it is true.

"We’re so much better than this," he continued. "I know sometimes it feels these days like anger, and hatred and viciousness is about to overwhelm us, but it’s up to our leaders to change the tone, in both parties."

Biden, who is considered a potential Democratic presidential candidate for 2020, has been a vehement critic of the Trump administration, particularly as he has made the rounds on the campaign trail for Democratic candidates in recent weeks.

The former vice president recently said American values are being "shredded" by Trump, and accused the president of assigning "moral equivalence" to those who carry out violent, hateful acts.