Washington: Donald Trump is one of the ‘most racist presidents’ in modern history, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Thursday. He tore into the current US president during the final presidential debate and accused Trump of pouring ‘fuel on every racist fire’. Joe Biden stated that such a racist person shouldn’t be re-elected again.
Biden and Trump clashed on race relations during the second presidential debate. It was moderated by NBC’s Kristen Welker.
The racism topic has gained prominence after the horrific murder of an African American in police custody early this year in Minneapolis. The incident triggered violent protest across the United States.
Former vice-president Biden termed Trump ‘one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history. Biden asserted that his Republican rival at his last debate did not condemn white supremacy. Instead he told an extremist group to ‘stand down and stand by’.
“Here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history. He pours fuel on every single racist fire. Every single one,” Biden alleged. “He (Trump) started off his campaign coming down the escalator saying he’s going to get rid of those Mexican rapists. He’s banned Muslims because they are Muslims. He has moved around and made everything worse across the board. This guy has a dog whistle about as big as a foghorn,” Biden said.
The US president portrayed himself as a champion of Black people. Trump reiterated that no president has done more for Black Americans than anyone other than former US President Abraham Lincoln.
“Nobody has done more for the black community than Donald Trump. And if you look, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, nobody has done what I’ve done,” Trump said.
The former vice-president misheard Trump’s remarks on Lincoln to which the president lapped on.
“You said you’re Abraham Lincoln,” Biden said. “I said not since Abraham Lincoln has anybody done what I’ve done for the Black community,” Trump shot back.
Trump also talked about the widespread protests following the death of George Floyd. “You have to understand, the first time I ever heard of ‘Black Lives Matter’, they were chanting pigs in a blanket, talking about police. I said that’s a horrible thing and they weren’t marching down the street. And that was my first glimpse of Black Lives Matter,” Trump said.
“I thought it was a terrible thing. As far as my relationships with all people, I think I have great relationships with all people. I am the least racist person in this room,” Trump asserted. He then listed out the work that he has done for the Black community including criminal justice reform and prison reforms. He also talked about creating opportunity zones, helping black colleges and universities.
Trump accused Biden and former President Barack Obama of ignoring issues of racial justice. “You’ve done nothing but the crime bill which put tens of thousands of Black men in jail,” Trump told Biden.
Trump attacked Biden, over his support for a 1994 crime bill. He said the legislation ‘did such harm to the Black community’. Biden has called the law a mistake in the past, and he repeated that during the debate. “The fact of the matter is, there is institutional racism in America,” Biden said.
Trump said that Biden had four years as vice-president to combat racism but failed to do so. “You’re all talk and no action, Joe,” he said.
Trump said that he decided to run for the presidency because his predecessor Obama and his vice-president Biden did a poor job.
“If I thought you did a good job, I would have never run. I would have never run. I ran because of you. I’m looking at you now. You’re a politician. I ran because of you,” Trump said.