Joe Biden is the latest Democratic presidential candidate to say President Trump is to blame for the El Paso, Texas shooting where more than 20 people were killed.
Following in the footsteps of fellow Democratic presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke, Julian Castro, and Elizabeth Warren, the frontrunner said Trump’s “rhetoric is so divisive and it’s causing people to die,” the Washington Examiner reports.
“Mr. President, it’s long past time you stood up to it, it’s long past time you addressed it for what it is: This is hatred, pure and simple, and it’s been fueled by rhetoric that is so divisive, and it’s causing people to die,” Biden said.
“American people may be running out of tears, but I pray they’re not running out of will,” the former vice president continued. “These escalating acts are not madness. They are driven by hate.”
Biden also took to social media where he continued blaming the president.
“Let’s be very clear. You use the office of the presidency to encourage and embolden white supremacy. You use words like ‘infestation’ and ‘invasion’ to talk about human beings. We won’t truly speak with one voice against hatred until your voice is no longer in the White House,” he said.
Let's be very clear. You use the office of the presidency to encourage and embolden white supremacy. You use words like "infestation" and "invasion" to talk about human beings. We won't truly speak with one voice against hatred until your voice is no longer in the White House. https://t.co/CW3wxxTm2E
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 5, 2019
In a speech on Monday, President Trump denounced the attacks and said the whole country ought to come together to “condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.”
He said “these sinister ideologies must be defeated” and that “hate has no place in America.”
The president also called the attacks “barbaric slaughters” which were an “attack on our nation,” ABC News reports.
The Western Journal reports other presidential candidates have similarly blamed Trump for the mass murders:
Former congressman and presidential hopeful Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, who hails from El Paso, said that “[Trump] is a racist and he stokes racism in this country. And it does not just offend our sensibilities, it fundamentally changes the character of this country and it leads to violence.”
He also said he believed the president was a “white nationalist” and compared his rhetoric to something out of Nazi Germany: “You might hear someone in the Third Reich describe a given people based on their characteristic as an infestation or subhuman, but that’s what the president of the United States is doing right now, and it’s not just with Mexican immigrants, conflating congresswoman Ilhan Omar with the terrorists from 9/11, encouraging that chanting in North Carolina of ‘send her back,’” O’Rourke said.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, meanwhile, said that the president was “sowing seeds of hatred in our country and this harvest of hate violence that we’re seeing right now lies at his feet.”
“When you have the president from the highest moral office in our land talking about invasions and infestations and s—hole countries, the kind of things that come out of his mouth that so harm the moral fabric of our nation, he is responsible.”
Other Democratic presidential contenders stopped short of actively blaming Trump with that level of explicitness, although they certainly came close. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told CNN that some people took the president’s rhetoric as “a sign to do terrible, terrible things.”