Biden wrapped up his comments moments later, but not before assuring the audience that “I’d pay for every single thing I’m proposing without raising your taxes one penny,” unless they make more than $400,000 a year.
The former vice president had come under pressure to visit Kenosha, where protests for racial justice turned violent last week in the wake of the shooting of Blake, a Black man. Blake was shot seven times in the back as he leaned into his car with his three small children inside. While initial reports from Kenosha police said Blake had told officers he was in possession of a knife, and one was later found inside Blake’s car, his family and attorneys have denied that he was armed.
Blake remains hospitalized from his injuries, and his family has said Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down.
President Donald Trump visited the city on Tuesday, ignoring the objections of Kenosha’s Democratic mayor and Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, who argued that a visit by the president would be too divisive as the city tries to heal in the wake of outrage over the Blake shooting.
While Trump was criticized for meeting with members of law enforcement and local business leaders but not the Blake family, Biden met with Blake’s family Thursday and spoke by phone with Blake in his hospital bed.
But Trump and his allies are likely to seize on Biden’s tone-deaf remark, as they have with a number of other gaffes throughout the presidential campaign, particularly pertaining to Black men and women.
Early last month, Biden took heat for implying — unprompted — that the Black community is monolithic compared with the Latino community. Earlier this summer, Biden faced criticism when he contended that if a voter is still undecided between himself and Trump, “then you ain’t Black.”
Biden has apologized for both comments, but they have both been wielded against him by Black allies of the president, as Trump tries to dampen Biden’s support among the critical voting bloc.