First Presidential Debate 2020: Trump slams Biden on race protest, says he's afraid to utter 'law enforcement'
The former vice-president was left to defend himself on the question of supporting defunding of police saying he did not back the idea
President Donald Trump on Tuesday, September 29, locked horns with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the first of the three presidential debates in Ohio and among various topics over which the duo debated was race and law and order situation in the country. The US has witnessed serious race riots over the last few months following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minneapolis. The violence and unrest that was witnessed during the protests snowballed into a political controversy with Trump and his aides accusing the Democrat-run states and cities of not doing enough to stop the violence.
On Tuesday, both Trump and Biden took on each other over the issue after moderator Chris Wallace raised it. While Biden attacked the president saying he generates racist hatreds in the country, he recalled an instance from 2017 saying the incumbent praised people “on both sides” after a White supremacist rally. “No president has ever said anything like that,” the former vice-president said, criticizing Trump’s act of going to a church near the White House to pose with a Bible as force was used to disperse peaceful protesters that were on the streets. “This is a president who has used everything as a dog whistle to try to generate racist hatred, racist division,” he said, adding that “this man has done virtually nothing” for Black Americans.
Biden backed 1994 crime bill, did little for Black people: Trump
Trump was not to accept these allegations. He hit back at Biden saying the latter supported a 1994 crime bill that called for harsh penalties for drug offenses and emphasized on his own move to limit penalties. “I’m letting people out of jail now. You've treated the Black community about as bad as anybody in this country,” Trump said. The POTUS also said that he brought an end to racial sensitivity training in the federal government that talked about things like White privilege because he found it to be racist. According to him, the training made people to hate the country. Biden hit back over this and called the president racist. “The fact is that there is racial insensitivity, people have to be made aware of what other people feel like,” he said.
But Trump was quick to turn the law and order issue into a plank to attack the Democrats saying they, like Biden, did not want to talk about law and order. He found it a convenient weapon to attack the Democratic nominee who in the recent months found himself in a spot over the question of defunding the police — a move which is being witnessed with suspicion in the wake of the police brutalities. Biden said that he was against the idea of defunding the police, something that put him at odds with some of his Democratic colleagues. He said there were good officers in the law-enforcement agencies that got a bad name because of some “rotten apples”. “Yes, I’m in favor of law and order," Biden said, adding: "Law and order with justice, where people get treated fairly."
He said the police officers are also working under challenges and need more assistance. That the former vice-president was not too comfortable during this phase of the debate was evident when he said that he had no words with the mayor of Portland — the city in Oregon which has seen violent protests for months to draw Trump’s ire. “I've made it clear in my public statements that the violence should be prosecuted,” he said, even while blaming Trump for inciting them. But Trump got his edge over the former veep by then saying he was afraid to even utter the words “law enforcement” to equate his stand as a support for what he called Left-wing protests on the streets of America’s cities. Biden said he was not in favor of violence but peaceful protests but was mocked by Trump in return.