After Trumps law and order visit, Biden says hell go to Kenosha to heal
Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, will travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Thursday in the aftermath of the Jacob Blake shooting, two days after President Donald Trump did the same, his campaign announced Wednesday morning.
Biden is expected to meet with Jacob Blake Sr. and members of Blake’s family in Kenosha as part of the visit, according to a spokesperson for the Blake family.
On Wednesday, the former vice president was asked what he was hoping to accomplish with the trip.
“There’s been overwhelming requests that I do come. Because what we want to do is we’ve got to heal. We’ve got to put things together. Bring people together. And so my purpose in going will be to do just that,” Biden told reporters after a pandemic briefing in Delaware, noting he’s in touch with elected officials in the state.
Asked as well if he agrees with his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, that the officers involved in the Blake and Breonna Taylor shootings in Kentucky should be charged, Biden said, “Let’s make sure justice is done.”
“I do think there’s a minimum need to be charged, the officers, and as well as Breonna Taylor, and I might add, by the way, I think what happened in — in Portland, where a — one of the Trump guys riding along in vans inciting response, shooting rubber bullets, I guess, or paintballs, apparently there was someone was shot by someone in the crowd, with a bullet, killed,” Biden said.
“I think that person should meet the legal requirements, whatever that calls for, should be investigated and they should follow through on what needs to be done. Let the judicial system work,” he added.
Biden said, if he were president, he wouldn’t incite violence, as he said Trump does, and would take responsibility, something he said he wished Trump would do.
“First of all, I wouldn’t incite violence. I’d condemn it when it occurred,” Biden said.
“Number two, I would make sure everybody understood if I were president, any violence, any violence, protesting is a right and free speech is a right, but to engage in violence, burning, looting, and the rest, in the name of protesting is wrong. And that persons should be health accountable for their actions,” he continued.
His campaign said the Democratic presidential nominee will hold a community meeting in Kenosha, in the area where civil unrest turned deadly after authorities say Kyle Rittenhouse, a pro-police 17-year-old, allegedly opened fire, killing two men during protests.
Social media accounts associated with Rittenhouse’s name contain references to support for President Trump.
The trip comes as pressure mounted for Biden to visit Wisconsin, a 2020 election battleground, and marks the farthest travel from his home state of Delaware since he went to Houston in June to meet with the family of George Floyd — who was killed in May by a Minneapolis police officer — before his funeral.
When Trump visited Kenosha Tuesday afternoon, he did not meet with the Blake family. Some of Blake’s family members held an event alongside community activists at the site of Blake’s shooting to counter the president’s visit. Trump toured damaged businesses and met with law enforcement officers during his trip.
Trump said he refused to speak with the family after they insisted upon their lawyers’ involvement. A lawyer for the family said that was standard practice considering the investigations into what had occurred.
“I feel terribly for anybody that goes through that,” Trump told reporters, saying he had heard Blake’s mother was “a fine woman” and noting the shooting was being investigated.
Biden and Harris spoke with the Blake family on Aug. 26.
This trip will be Biden’s first to Wisconsin since October 2018, before the launch of his presidential campaign.
ABC News’ Stephanie Walsh contributed to this report.