President Trump attacked former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday by accusing him of being “against God.”
“He’s following the radical left agenda: take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment, no religion, no anything, hurt the Bible, hurt God,” Trump said during a campaign visit to Ohio. “He’s against God, he’s against guns.”
Biden is a practicing Catholic who regularly attends Mass at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine in Greenville, Del., and his campaign quickly responded.
“Joe Biden’s faith is at the core of who he is: He’s lived it with dignity his entire life, and it’s been a source of strength and comfort in times of extreme hardship,” Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement. “Donald Trump is the only president in our history to have tear-gassed peaceful Americans and thrown a priest out of his church just so he could profane it — and a Bible — for his own cynical optics as he sought to tear our nation apart at a moment of crisis and pain.”
The statement also pointed out that Trump had released a campaign ad that used altered images of Biden to portray him as weak and isolated.
Yesterday: Trump releases attack ad that uses photo of Biden praying in church to try to make him look pitiful
Today: Trump says Biden is anti-God pic.twitter.com/fGxRXju9VB
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 6, 2020
Trump does not belong to any particular church in Washington, D.C., and does not regularly attend services, but he frequently portrays Biden as part of the antireligious “radical left,” and linking that to the charge that Democrats oppose the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
“They’re against guns,” Trump said during a Wednesday interview with Fox Business host Lou Dobbs. “And I guess they’re against God, OK? But they’re against religion. They’re against the Bible, certainly. I mean, you look at what they say.”
Biden does support a ban on assault weapons and favors requiring background checks for all gun sales, but he has also made clear that he supports the Second Amendment.
With polls showing Trump trailing Biden nationally with less than three months to go before the Nov. 3 election, the president’s rhetoric against Biden has intensified, and he often portrays his rival as a danger to the nation.
In a play for the suburban vote, where polls show his support has fallen, Trump rescinded an Obama-era fair housing restriction designed to help end racial discrimination.
“They want to destroy our suburbs,” Trump said of Biden and the Democrats during a July call with supporters.
During his interview with Fox News host Chris Wallace, Trump incorrectly claimed that Biden wants to “defund the police,” only to be fact-checked as the cameras rolled.
“No, sir, he does not,” Wallace countered.
“Look, he signed a charter with Bernie Sanders,” Trump insisted.
“And it says nothing about defunding the police,” Wallace replied. Trump called for a copy of the Biden campaign’s joint statement with Sanders, but was unable to find the passage about defunding the police.
Earlier on Thursday, Trump tweeted that “Joe Biden just lost the entire African American community” with a comment that “unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community.”
While Biden’s remarks offered Trump’s campaign a line of attack, the president’s tweet in effect repeated the idea that Black Americans are a monolithic voting bloc.
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