Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden blamed President Donald Trump for ongoing rioting in Portland, Oregon, while admitting that he has not called on leadership in the area to help the situation.
Trump and Biden spoke during the first presidential debate Tuesday about COVID-19, protests and rioting across America and more. Moderator Chris Wallace noted that “many cities” have “turned violent” amid nationwide protests that began after George Floyd’s death in May.
Wallace specifically pointed to Portland when citing these riots and added that Biden has said “people who commit crimes should be held accountable.”
“The question I have, though, is, the Democratic nominee – and earlier tonight you said you are the Democratic Party right now – have you ever called the Democratic Mayor of Portland or the Democratic Governor of Oregon and said, ‘hey, you’ve got to stop this? Bring in the National Guard, do whatever it takes but stop the days and months of violence in Portland?'” Wallace asked Biden.
“I don’t hold public office now. I am a former vice president. I’ve made it clear. I’ve made it clear in my public statements that the violence should be prosecuted. It should be prosecuted. And anyone who commits it …” Biden began to respond.
Wallace pushed the subject and tried to confirm that Biden has “never called for the leaders in Portland and in Oregon to … bring in the National Guard and knock off 100 days of riots.”
“They can in fact take care of it if you would just stay out of the way,” Biden responded, confirming Wallace’s question. (RELATED: Election 2020: First Presidential Debate Live Blog)
At that point, Trump joined the conversation and pushed back on Biden’s claim that they “can … take care of it.”
“Oh, really?” Trump asked. ” Killed a young man in the middle of the street, they shot him, but three days in Portland …”
Trump and Biden continued to have a back and forth about the subject until Wallace intervened and tried to regain control of the debate.
“He doesn’t want to calm things down,” Biden claimed of Trump.
“He just pours gasoline on the fire, constantly,” Biden added.