Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called President Donald Trump America’s first “racist” president.
Biden made the charge Wednesday during a virtual town hall put on by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), The Washington Post reported. He was responding to a question about Trump referring to coronavirus as the “Wuhan” or “China” virus.
“What President Trump has done, in his spreading of racism … The way he deals with people based on the color of their skin, their national origin, where they’re from, is absolutely sickening,” the former vice president said.
“No sitting president has ever done this,” he continued. “Never, never, never. No Republican president has done this. No Democratic president. We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed, they’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has.”
Biden says Trump is America’s first racist president: “We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed, they’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has.” pic.twitter.com/BbOG3GgXvq
— The Recount (@therecount) July 22, 2020
“And the way he pits people against one another is all designed to divide the country, divide people, not pull them together,” said Biden, according to the Post. “Look what he’s doing now. He’s blaming everything on China. … He’s using it as a wedge.” (RELATED: Harris, Near Tears, Slams Biden On School Busing)
The outlet did take issue with Biden’s grasp of history, writing, “Though Biden calls Trump the first racist to be president, history shows the United States has had leaders in the past who either were openly racists, such as enslavers, or expressed racist views or used racist language.”
The Trump campaign responded to Biden’s charge via a statement from campaign senior advisor Katrina Pierson:
“This is an insult to the intelligence of Black voters and is really rich coming from a guy who proudly befriended segregationists, touted an award from George Wallace, honored a former Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, worried his kids would grow up in a ‘racial jungle,’ marveled that Barack Obama was ‘articulate’ and ‘clean,’ bragged about being from a slave state, and repeatedly used the n-word,” Pierson wrote. “President Trump loves all people, works hard to empower all Americans, and is supported by more Black voters than any Republican presidential candidate in modern history. No one should take lectures on racial justice from Joe Biden.”