Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden aimed to walk fine line between calling for racial justice and enforcing law and order in the nation Tuesday.
After months of protests and rioting across the country, Mr. Biden pushed back at criticism he was soft in his support for law enforcement, arguing that it was a false choice.
“The country has been riled by incidents of excessive police force, heartbreaking cases of racial injustice, and lives needlessly and senselessly lost. By peaceful protesters giving voice to calls for justice. By examples of violence and looting and burning that cannot be tolerated,” he said in a speech delivered in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
“I believe in law and order. I’ve never supported the defunding the police but I also believe that justice is real,” he added. “I cannot believe we have to choose between law and order racial justice in America. We can have both. This is a nation strong enough.”
The former vice president said America needs to look into the roots of systemic racism honestly while ensuring the streets are safe for families and businesses.
He also explicitly denounced white supremacist groups, saying Americans should want law enforcement to do their jobs and not “vigilantes.”
President Trump’s campaign has touted the administration’s tough response to unrest that broke out over the summer in response to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, both unarmed black people, in incidents with police.
At the same time, they’ve aimed to paint Mr. Biden as a radical leftist intent on defunding police departments and allowing riots to run rampant.