“I think it will, God willing, go down as the single exception in American history,” Biden said of the sitting president’s current term in office.
While former presidents and members of their administration often pause from political rhetoric to give an incoming president some time to adjust before weighing in on policies, Biden said that Trump has, in some instances, gone too far for him to hold back.
“There are certain things that, when they occur, you just can’t remain silent,” he said.
“Charlottesville, for me, was a moment where I thought silence would be complicity,” he added. “To not have an outright, flat condemnation of that … I thought the silence was deafening.”
“There’s an attack on our system. I think people are worried. It goes beyond President Trump, in my view,” he continued.
Biden also noted that had Clinton not lost, by the relatively small margin she did in a handful of key states, the situation might be different.
“We wouldn’t be having this conversation,” he said. “We’d have a good president. We’d have a president who understands the role of the presidency. She would’ve been somebody who would in fact weave that fabric.”
Trump faced criticism from Biden and others for his comments in the wake of the violence that rocked Charlottesville in August when white nationalists and counter-protesters clashed in the Virginia town, often claims that “both sides” were to blame for the violence and fatalities that ensued.
Early in November, Biden, at a Philadelphia event hosted by Axios, specifically touched upon the effect president’s reactions to events like Charlottesville is having on the nation.
The comments to Colbert as not the first time Biden has taken Trump to task for divisive rhetoric. At an event earlier this month he said the president’s words were “eating at the fabric at this country,” and eroding the nation’s sense of civility.
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“You can disagree on issues but this has gotten so, sort of, coarse, so vile, so demeaning,” Biden said then. “And our children are listening.”
“This penchant for self-aggrandizement and this penchant for tweeting, this penchant to focus so specifically and eternally on what he does or doesn’t do, even if he was right about everything, is sending a message to all of you and sending a message to your younger siblings that is just totally inappropriate,” Biden said of Trump’s behavior at a mid-October event.
Joe Biden says rust belt voters love him more than they love Trump