Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s speech to residence of Kenosha, Wisconsin was intended to draw a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump’s recent visit to the city.
Instead, it drew gasps when Biden made a gaffe about being shot for going on for too long.
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Talking about his campaign’s tax proposals, Biden said he could “lay it all out for you, but I can’t because they’d shoot me” — which Fox News said drew audible gasps from the audience in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting.
Joe Biden is Kenosha says that he can't lay out all his plans in more detail because if he goes on any longer "they'll shoot me." pic.twitter.com/N33k3wyuJl
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 3, 2020
The visit marked the former vice president’s first trip to the battleground state of Wisconsin as the Democratic presidential nominee and was a contrast to Trump’s visit.
“I can’t say if tomorrow God made me president, I can’t guarantee you everything gets solved in four years,” Biden said. But “it would be a whole lot better, we’d get a whole lot further down the road” if Trump isn’t re-elected.
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“There’s certain things worth losing over,” he concluded, “and this is something worth losing over if you have to — but we’re not going to lose.”
Blake remains hospitalized after being shot in the back seven times by a white Kenosha police officer while authorities were trying to arrest him on Aug. 23.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, said that he’d asked both Biden and Trump not to come. “I would prefer that no one be here, be it candidate Trump or candidate Biden,” Evers said in a news conference.
Yet Kenosha was mostly calm for Biden’s visit, other than some verbal jousting outside the church between activists, including Bennett, and at least one Trump supporter.
Kenneth Turner stood nearby with a Trump-Pence yard sign. “Everyone is blaming Trump for everything,” the 50-year-old Kenosha man said. “But problems here have been around a long time before Trump.”
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During his Kenosha trip Tuesday, Trump toured damaged buildings and discussed ways to quell unrest with law enforcement officials. Trump was greeted by supporters who occasionally mixed with and yelled at Black Lives Matter organizers, but the situation remained peaceful.
The president amplified his approach Thursday evening in Pennsylvania, another state that could decide the election. “Biden went (to Kenosha) today. There was nobody there. There was nobody there,” Trump said.
Trump also repeated his political attack that Biden supports riots. Biden has condemned violence, most recently on Thursday, and he has criticized Trump for not denouncing a 17-year-old Illinois teen now charged with killing two protesters after he traveled to Kenosha armed and intent, he said, on protecting local businesses.
However, members of Biden’s campaign donated parts of their salary to bail out rioters that were arrested during the initial unrest.
Biden, who enjoyed police union backing for much of his political career, has defended police officers for bravery and public service. But he said again Thursday that policing must be overhauled.
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Many of the police unions that previously backed Biden have declined to endorse his 2020 presidential campaign. A few have endorsed Trump.
As he boarded his plane for a return trip to his Delaware home, Biden said he didn’t know if his trip to Kenosha was more successful than Trump’s.
“But I felt good about it,” he said. “I think we brought people together and I felt good about it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article