Biden condemns rioting in new ad

Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign on Tuesday released a new ad that condemns rioting and violence as President Trump’s campaign continues to frame a Biden presidency as one that would lead to more turbulence and unrest.

The Biden campaign ad, entitled “Be Not Afraid,” focuses on a portion of Biden’s Monday speech from a steel mill in Pittsburgh, in which he spoke out against the violence involved in demonstrations around the country and blamed Trump for inciting it. 

Riots have continued in Portland, Ore., and Kenosha, Wis., over the police treatment of the Black community. Trump and his allies have ramped up accusations that Democrats and the media paint the protests as “mostly peaceful” despite instances of repeated violence.

“I want to make it absolutely clear rioting is not protesting, looting is not protesting,” the former vice president said in the ad’s opening. “It’s lawlessness, plain and simple, and those that do it should be prosecuted.”

Biden places blame for the violence on Trump for not calling “on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia.” 

“If I were president my language would be less divisive,” he said in the ad. “I’d be looking to lower the temperature in this country, not raise it.”

“This is not who we are,” he added. “I believe we’ll be guided by the words of Pope John Paul II, words drawn from the scriptures, ‘Be not afraid.’”

Throughout the spot, images of the damage following the demonstrations are shown.  

Protests have continued in Portland since George Floyd’s death in May while in police custody in Minneapolis. These demonstrations have sometimes turned violent, prompting the Trump administration to send federal authorities to the city in July. One person belonging to a right-wing group was fatally shot in the city over the weekend.

Demonstrations in Kenosha have erupted since video footage circulated last week showing police shooting Black man Jacob Blake at least seven times in the back. Three people were shot, two of them fatally, in a shooting at Kenosha protests last week.

The Biden ad counters one of the main themes and warnings from the Republican National Convention that a Biden presidency would bring more violence to the country. 

Trump campaign spokesperson Samantha Zager told The Hill in a statement that Biden is “obviously rattled after waking up and realizing Americans aren’t on board with the lawlessness and violence perpetrated by his supporters in American cities.”

“This is a weak attempt by Biden’s camp to cover up his failure to address the violent riots for over three months – and it’s too little too late,” she said. “Americans have watched Biden’s utter lack of courage to stand up to his radical supporters while President Trump has condemned the violence, demanded law and order, and taken action to protect our communities without hesitation.”

Tags 2020 election campaign ads Donald Trump George Floyd protests Jacob Blake protests Joe Biden Kenosha protests Portland protests Protests riots

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