Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien cast Joe Biden’s planned visit to Kenosha Thursday as political while warning that “this is not the time to be injecting politics” into what he called “a really serious situation” amid weeks of unrest in the city.
During an interview on “Fox & Friends” Thursday, Stepien said it is “scary times in Democrat-controlled states and cities.”
“The president was there earlier in the week as president of the United States,” Stepien said. “Vice President Biden is there today as a candidate — as a political candidate.”
He added: “This is not the time to be injecting politics into a really serious situation that the president helped solve.”
Stepien went on to criticize Democrats for “encouraging violence in the streets.”
“You don’t see many supporters of the president throwing bricks through windows, or setting buildings on fire,” Stepien said, while adding that “most Americans,” when looking at violence in cities like Portland and Chicago over the summer, felt that the unrest “seemed quite far removed from their backyards.”
Stepien noted, though, that Kenosha “showed violence can happen anywhere if Democrat leadership is left untethered.”
“Democrats may want to talk about coronavirus, but the violence is out of hand in these Democrat states,” Stepien said.
Stepien’s comments come ahead of the Democratic presidential nominee’s planned visit to Kenosha later Thursday.
Biden told reporters on Wednesday that he would try to “heal” and “put things together and bring people together.”
“So my purpose in going will be to do just that — 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 the folks together,” Biden said Wednesday.
The president visited Kenosha on Tuesday, getting an up-close look at the damage caused by recent riots and looting in the city.
The president announced $1 million to Kenosha law enforcement “so you have extra money to go out and do what you have to do.” He also announced $4 million to support local businesses affected by the violence and $42 million to support public safety statewide — including support for law enforcement and prosecutors.
“We’re going to get it fixed up, we’re going to help people rebuild their businesses in Kenosha…we’re getting it straightened out,” Trump told reporters as he began his trip.
“Kenosha been ravaged by anti-police and anti-American riots,” he said at a roundtable with law enforcement and business owners after also visiting an emergency operations center.
“These are not acts of peaceful protests, but domestic terror,” he said.
During his visit, the president went on to compare his law and order message to Biden’s, who he has repeatedly said is weak on crime.
”To stop the political violence we must also confront the radical ideology that includes this violence. Reckless far-left politicians continue to push the destructive message that our nation and our law enforcement are oppressive or racist — they’ll throw out any word that comes to them,” he said at the roundtable.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign this week launched new ads in key states like Wisconsin and Minnesota, which were meant to speak directly to those “who have felt the impact of the violent mobs” amid unrest in their cities.
“Joe Biden is too weak and can’t call out the radical leftist rioters for what they are because he is under the control of the anti-police extremists in the Democrat Party,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told Fox News. “The rioters are running amok in Democrat-controlled cities and only President Trump is standing for law and order.”
Biden, though, has repeatedly condemned violence in cities on the campaign trail. Last week, Biden condemned violence in Kenosha, and in July, condemned violence in Portland, Ore., while calling for the prosecution of “arsonists and anarchists.”
Before that Biden also condemned similar violence in Minneapolis after George Floyd, a Black man, died in police custody in May.