Joe and Jill Biden headed to Kenosha, Wisconsin Thursday where they’re expected 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.’
Joe Biden waves to reporters as he arrives at the New Castle, Delaware airport en route to Kenosha, Wisconsin where he plans to meet with Jacob Blake’s family members and take part in a community event
Joe Biden (left) is accompanied by his wife, Jill Biden (right), as they board their flight to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Thursday. The Bidens’ trip to the Wisconsin city comes two days after President Donald Trump traveled there
Joe Biden has said he intends to try to ‘heal’ the community and bring people together during his trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin, which has seen protests and violent outbursts in the aftermath of last month’s police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man who remains hospitalized
Joe Biden is expected to meet with Jacob Blake’s family members during his trip to Kenosha Thursday. Jacob Blake Sr. (left), Blake’s father, and Zanetia Blake, Blake’s sister (right), are photographed in Kenosha on Saturday
President Donald Trump visited Kenosha on Tuesday after Democratic leaders told him not to come. He toured wreckage from the riots that broke out after Blake’s shooting and held a roundtable event with law enforcement and other community leaders
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 continued. ‘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 encouraged him to 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.
The Democratic National Convention was supposed to take place in the state – and while some delegates did gather in Milwaukee – Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris gave their nomination speeches from Wilmington, Delaware instead, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Trump and the Republicans have gone after Biden for his reluctance to travel.
On Wednesday, as the president was heading to North Carolina – another key swing state – he started referring to Biden as ‘Joe Hiden,” as the ex-veep spent most of the early months in the pandemic campaigning from his Wilmington basement.
This week Biden took on a more robust campaign schedule, traveling to Pittsburgh Monday to deliver a speech.
The campaign called an early ‘lid’ Tuesday – meaning the candidate would not be leaving his residence, which again garnered criticism from Republicans.
On Wednesday, Biden delivered remarks on reopening schools and then took questions from reporters, the first time he devoted real time to a press Q&A in weeks.
On Friday, Biden will deliver remarks on the economy to reporters back in Wilmington.