Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden has a history of making gaffes and misstatements — but his latest blunder could prove fatal for his White House campaign.
According to the Washington Examiner, Biden joked at a campaign stop in Kenosha, Wisconsin — yes, that Kenosha — that his campaign staffers would “shoot” him if he rambled on too long about a certain policy proposal.
Both the Examiner and Fox News deemed the remarks “awkward,” as they came in the wake of the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, as well as subsequent protests that have left at least two dead.
Biden’s remarks came during a trip by the former vice president on Thursday, just days after he sharply criticized President Donald Trump for traveling there to speak.
During what the Examiner described as a “community meeting,” Biden reacted to concerns and questions from Kenosha residents. The talk came after Biden met with Blake’s family and spoke with him on the phone, the Examiner reported.
Blake was shot seven times in the back during the shooting, which left him paralyzed from the waist down, according to NPR.
But Biden’s talk didn’t only focus on Blake; according to Fox, the former VP “veered into talking about inequities in taxes at one point” — a topic that led to what Fox called “an unfortunate choice of words” by the Democrat White House hopeful.
“If you make less than $400,000, you’re not going to get a penny tax, and you’re going to get a tax cut if you make under $125,000,” Biden said, according to the Examiner. “I’m not going lay it out for you. I won’t now because they’ll shoot me.”
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
Trump, for his part, took a different approach to his talk with Kenosha residents, opting to instead to highlight the success of his law-and-order attitude. It’s a message that is likely to resonate with residents of Kenosha, where Trump said the president said “at least 25 businesses” were “demolished or damaged” by “violent mobs” during recent unrest.
“[Y]ou went through hell, just a few days ago,” he told Kenosha residents on Tuesday, according to a White House transcript. “But we’re all safe, and we’re safe because of law enforcement. And we honor you. And I will say this: We have to condemn the dangerous, anti-police rhetoric. It’s getting more and more. It’s very unfair.”
He went on:
So I’m committed to helping Kenosha rebuild. We all are. We will provide $1 million to the Kenosha law enforcement so that you have some extra money to go out and do what you have to do. […] It was a rough week, to put it mildly.