Former Vice President Joe Biden took the offensive against President Donald Trump during a speech in Madison, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, appealing heartily to the crowd to look beyond party and save “America’s soul.”
“I am sick and tired of this administration. I am sick and tired of what’s going on. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I hope you are too,” Biden said, appropriating a famous quote by the black civil rights movement activist Fannie Lou Hamer.
“Folks, this election is different than any election,” he continued. “This is bigger than politics, this election. It really is bigger than politics. I think we’re in a battle for America’s soul.”
Biden’s remarks come on the heels of several attacks last week ― the slaying of 11 Jewish people in their Pittsburgh synagogue, the execution of two black senior citizens at a Kentucky grocery store and the multiple attempts to mail bombs to a number of Trump’s political critics and CNN.
“Three times this past week, the forces of hate have terrorized our fellow Americans for their political beliefs, the color of their skin or their religion,” Biden said.
“Folks, this is not who we are. We need to recognize that words matter,” he continued, echoing calls from across the political spectrum urging Trump to stop vilifying the media and his political critics.
Biden’s remarks come one day after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders snapped back at reporters who pressed her on the issue of Trump’s aggressive rhetoric.
“The president’s going to continue to fight back,” Sanders said when a reporter asked if Trump would cease insulting Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) during his rallies or stop using nicknames like “crooked Hillary Clinton” and encouraging “lock her up” chants.
Clinton and Waters, along with Biden, were among the intended recipients of last week’s bomb attempts.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.