Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is trying to frame months of rioting and destructive demonstrations as the fault of “right-wing militias, white supremacists, and vigilantes.”
In a statement on Sunday, Biden condemned this violence and challenged Trump to do the same.
“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,” he said.
Biden specifically called out the “violence of extremists and opportunists, right-wing militias,” and “white nationalists,” the Washington Examiner reports.
“He’s got no problem with right-wing militias, white supremacists, and vigilantes with assault weapons often better armed than the police,” Biden continued, speaking of Trump.
The Trump campaign quickly responded, pointing out that neither Biden nor his campaign has called out Antifa and their own violent acts.
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said Biden has “failed to condemn Antifa. He failed to condemn people who called the police a ‘cancer’ or people on his campaign staff who called them ‘pigs.’ He failed to apologize for his campaign staff donating to a fund that bailed violent criminals out of jail in Minneapolis.”
Republican strategist and former Trump 2016 campaign official Bryan Lanza similarly described the Biden effort to attribute the violence to Trump and his campaign “will fail.”
“We all know it’s antifa and BLM,” Lanza said.
The Washington Examiner reports Biden’s attempt to paint the Trump campaign as the ones responsible for the violence is being helped by the media:
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Biden’s campaign is emphasizing clashes between Trump supporters and protesters, especially an incident in Kenosha where a 17-year-old was arrested for shooting to death two demonstrators during a physical altercation. Democrats argue that Trump is similarly selective in the violence he condemns, focusing only on left-wing activists rather than anyone closer to his own political orbit.
This message has been amplified in the media. MSNBC host Joy Reid compared Trump to leaders “in the Muslim world” who radicalize their followers with violent rhetoric. “As right-wing groups increasingly move to confront protesters in U.S. cities, demonstrators are assessing how to keep themselves safe.”
Still, viral images of protesters harassing a Trump-supporting couple on their way back to their hotel from the White House or attacking Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, reinforced the left-wing character of the majority of those taking over the streets. Trump has repeatedly pointed out that the cities where things are most out of control are governed by Democratic mayors and city councils, frequently in blue states. Trump has ridiculed television reporters for describing protests as mostly peaceful while standing in front of burning buildings.