Joe Biden was interrupted by a protestor asking about “corruption in Ukraine” at a campaign event in San Antonio, Texas on Friday.
Rather than engage with the man, who could be heard shouting in video footage of Biden’s speech, the presidential candidate let the crowd’s chants of “We want Joe” overpower the interruption.
The former vice president then paused the chant to say the protestor “represents Donald Trump very well” and is “just like Donald Trump,” who he had been criticizing up until that point in the speech. Biden then called the man a “great American.”
It’s unclear from the footage whether the protestor was escorted out by security, the crowd, or independently, but after observing his exit, Biden told the crowd “let him go” and “don’t hurt him.”
“This is not a Trump rally,” Biden said, referring to the instances at the president’s rallies where crowd members attack protestors, with Trump’s apparent support. “This is a real rally.”
Ukraine has been at the center of talking points for Trump and his allies after House Democrats introduced the impeachment inquiry against the president, which centers on centers around the false claim that Hunter Biden profited from illegal business dealings in Ukraine and that Biden, who was vice president at the time, tried to cover it up.
Trump, GOP-affiliated lawmakers, and Rudy Giuliani, his lead attorney, have pushed the corruption narrative in addition to baselessly claiming that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election to benefit the Democratic Party, of which there has been no evidence.
Biden also used a significant portion of his speech at the San Antonio event to attack Trump’s rhetoric, especially his anti-immigration stance. He recalled Trump’s repeated characterizations of southern border crossings as an “invasion,” which Biden said preceded the El Paso mass shooting that left 22 people dead.
“He claimed there was an invasion of Latinos coming across the border,” Biden said “Well guess what? The words presidents say matter. It wasn’t too long after that, that a guy down in El Paso walks into a parking lot and guns down a lot of innocent people and he says, ‘I’m doing it to prevent the invasion of Texas by Hispanics.'”
Biden then said Trump was using his anti-immigration rhetoric and family separation as a weapon, which was “morally wrong and un-American.”