Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has denounced the “needless violence” that has gripped Kenosha for three days, prompting critics to suggest that the delayed response was due to bad poll results.
Once again, a Black man — Jacob Blake — was shot by the police. In front of his children. It makes me sick.
Is this the country we want to be?
Needless violence won’t heal us. We need to end the violence — and peacefully come together to demand justice. pic.twitter.com/WdNqrxA3PK
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 26, 2020
As Kenosha is bracing itself for a potential fourth night of violent unrest that has already seen numerous local businesses ransacked and torched, Biden released a video statement, urging protesters to stop destroying their own communities.
Protesting brutality is a right and absolutely necessary, but burning down communities is not protest, it’s needless violence – violence that endangers lives, violence that guts businesses, and shutters businesses that serve the community
Biden’s admission that the chaos in Kenosha, which has already cost 2 people their lives, was a far cry from a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally, came shortly after prominent CNN host Don Lemon opined that by keeping quiet on the crisis, Democrats risk losing the demographics Biden needs to have on board in the November election.
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“It’s showing up in the polling. It’s showing up in focus groups,” Lemon said, speaking to fellow CNN anchor Chris Cuomo on Tuesday evening. In the rare criticism of the Democratic party, Lemon said that it was “ignoring this problem or hoping it will go away,” adding that neither appears to be happening any time soon.
The timing of Biden’s statement was not lost on conservatives, suggesting that the former VP was rather moved by his polling numbers than by the plight of the businesses he referred to in his message when he took aim at rioters and looters.
“I noticed that CNN said your polls were probably down because of the rioting. I’m guessing that’s why you finally mentioned about rioting and the violence being wrong. I think it was Lemon that said it,” a commenter said.
I noticed that CNN said your polls were probably down because of the rioting. I’m guessing that’s why you finally mentioned about rioting and the violence being wrong. I think it was Lemon that said it.
— Charis Megill (@coffeegirl_77) August 26, 2020
— Navid 🧢🇺🇸 (@NYCNavid) August 26, 2020
Just say “I got the new polls and people do not like riots, looting and violence so I’m gonna pretend now after months of calling them peaceful that I now discourage it”
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) August 26, 2020
Others accused Biden of jumping onto the bandwagon by coming out against the violence “90 days too late.”
Joe, this plead and running mate’s attempt to finally come out against the violence is 90 days to late. You continue to amaze most of America with your lack of addressing issues real time. You continue to show your true lack of empathy to Americans. Some maybe fooled but most not
— mick wiz (@mickwiz20) August 26, 2020
While parts of Kenosha have been almost reduced to scorched earth in the three days following the Sunday shooting of black man Jacob Flake by police, violence has also marred the protests against police brutality for three months in wake of the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd in police custody in late May.
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