Joe and Jill Biden head to Kenosha for meeting with Jacob Blake’s family and ‘healing’ community town hall after Donald Trump doesn’t say shooting victim’s name during his trip but calls rioters ‘domestic terrorists.
Joe and Jill Biden headed to Kenosha, Wisconsin Thursday as they plan to meet with Jacob Blake’s family members and hold a ‘healing’ community town hall.
The Democratic nominee’s campaign announced the Bidens trip on Wednesday, one day after President Donald Trump visited the Wisconsin city to tour wreckage from the riots that broke out in the aftermath of the police shooting of Blake.
Trump also reinforced his commitment to siding with law enforcement during the trip, calling rioters ‘domestic terrorists,’ and white officers who kill or shoot black Americans ‘bad apples’ or individuals who’ve ‘choked.’
Trump did not meet with members of Blake’s family, nor did he say Blake’s name during his remarks.
On the ground in Kenosha, the president dismissed the idea that most of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that occurred after the Memorial Day death of George Floyd – and more recently the shooting of Blake – have been peaceful.
‘I keep hearing about peaceful protests … and then I come to an area like this and the town is burned down,’ Trump said. ‘By and large this is not peaceful protesting,’ he repeated later.
State and local officials, including Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, and Kenosha’s Mayor John Antaramian, also a Democrat, said they didn’t want Trump to come, but the president insisted.
Biden was asked Wednesday during a Q&A with reporters what made his trip to the area any different.
‘I have spoken to all the leaders up there,’ the former vice president said, adding that he had been working with Evers’ staff, but had yet to speak one-on-on with the state’s governor. ‘There have been overwhelming requests that I do come.’
‘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 continud. ‘Be a positive influence on what’s going on, talk about what needs to be done and try to see if there’s a beginning of a mechanism to bring folks together.’
He said he had received advice from House and Senate members, who he said should make the trek.
‘And I’m not going to do anything other than meetings with community leaders as well as business people and other folks in law enforcement and start to talk about what has been done,’ Biden said.
The campaign has not publicly confirmed that he’s meeting with the Blake family.
‘I’m not going to tell Kenosha what they have to do,’ Biden also said.
Biden’s trip to Wisconsin marks the first time a Democratic presidential candidate has gone to the state since the 2012 cycle.
Hillary Clinton notably skipped campaigning in Wisconsin, only to lose the state to Trump, helping him earn his Electoral College victory in 2016.