Joe Biden Hits Trump Hard During MLK Day Speech Denouncing Alt Right
Former Vice President Joe Biden hasn’t formally announced a run for president quite yet, but his words on the day honoring Civil Rights pioneer Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. seemed to be directed squarely at the man he’d be challenging if he does decide to run, President Donald Trump.
Biden was speaking at the National Action Network’s breakfast event honoring King, which was hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton. King’s son, Martin Luther King III, also spoke, as did another potential name in the 2020 presidential race, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, per reporting from ABC News.
Biden made several remarks attacking hatred he said was reawakened under Trump’s watch as president.
“That part of American society has always been there, will always be there, but has been legitimized. Fifty years later, the hate that cut your dad down is still nurtured by those forces of darkness,” Biden said on Monday, according to a tweet from CNN’s David Wright, which quoted the former vice president’s speech.
Biden evoked events of the past two years, including the Charlottesville protests which saw far-right-wing forces kill protester Heather Heyer, and injuring dozens more.
Former VP Joe Biden condemns Pres. Trump's "moral equivalence" in wake of 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA: "No presidents since the Civil War have ever, ever, ever uttered words like that." https://t.co/NkJuIoh4fP pic.twitter.com/IkLkScOrld
— ABC News (@ABC) January 21, 2019
At that event in 2017, Biden recalled, there were “Klansmen and white supremacists — literally — and neo Nazis — literally — slunked out of their dark rooms, their digital hideaways, their crazed and vicious faces literally contorted, illuminated by torchlight” — a sight that Biden said was made possible by “loose talk” from others encouraging them to come out.
“Dr. King would know those faces well, those same lost souls, that once stood like cowards, hooded, behind burning crosses,” Biden said. “They have been deliberately reawakened again, unearthed by loose talk, by direct appeals to prejudice, from the alt-right.”
As shocking as it was to see those individuals come out, Biden said he was taken by complete surprise when Trump spoke about the horrific event.
It was “something I never thought I would live to see again,” Biden said, “having a president of the United States make a moral equivalence between those who were spreading the hate and those who were opposing it, saying there were ‘very fine people on both sides.’ No president since the Civil War had ever, ever uttered words like that.”
Although he didn’t mention anything about a run for higher office at his speech on Monday, Biden has made several indications over the past year or so that demonstrate he’s making serious moves toward announcing a presidential run. According to reporting from the New York Times, Biden has been privately telling those around him that he sees himself as the best shot at ousting Trump from office in 2020.