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Resurgence of violence puts Biden on defense

Emily Larsen of the Washington Examiner reports the impact of recent events on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign.

Joe Biden is on defense in the wake of a resurgence of violent riots and tense clashes sparked by anger over race relations and police brutality, forced to confront one of the largest electoral arguments from Republicans — that the Democrats are unwilling and unable to restore law and order across the country.

Protests and violent riots, which included looting and arson , broke out in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after a video of a police officer shooting Jacob Blake, a black man, in the back on Sunday went viral. Also, in response to the Kenosha shooting, activists in Washington, D.C., confronted individuals sitting in restaurants, yelling in their faces to raise a fist in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The “tactic” was widely condemned by liberal commentators.

While Biden, on Monday, quickly called for an “immediate, full, and transparent investigation” into the shooting of Blake and called him a “victim of excessive force,” he waited to comment on the riots until after rioters sparred with vigilantes with guns, who showed up saying that they intended to protect private property, and one 17-year-old vigilante allegedly shot three people, two of whom died.

As Biden remained quiet, CNN host Don Lemon called him out.

“What you said is happening in Kenosha is a Rorschach test for the entire country. And I think Democrats are ignoring this problem or hoping that it will go away. And it’s not going to go away,” Lemon said Tuesday night. “Joe Biden may be afraid to do it,” Lemon mused, but “he’s got to address it. He’s got to come out and talk about it. He’s got to do a speech like Barack Obama did about race … The rioting has got to stop.”

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...