As former Vice President Joe Biden mulls a third potential run at the White House in 2020, he is warning that current administration is “giving license to this prejudice” that has risen in recent years.
Citing a recent report by the Anti-Defamation League that found that antisemitic incidents rose by an estimated 60 per cent in 2017, Mr Biden said that “we are in a battle for the soul of this nation. We have to recognise that trend lines are moving in the wrong direction”.
“It’s not an accident,“ he said in Washington during an address to mark the 10th anniversary of the Lantos Foundation, which is a human rights group. ”Our leadership is giving license to, giving license to this prejudice”.
Mr Biden is considered as one of Democrats’ top prospects to potentially take on President Donald Trump in the 2020 election cycle, and has regularly denounced the president’s penchant for divisive rhetoric that many have said serve as a dog whistle to the bigoted impulses of some Americans.
The president, throughout his time as a politician running for office and now running the country, has repeatedly called Mexicans “rapists” and “criminals”, and has refused to condemn anti-Semitic rhetoric coming from his supporters.
At the top of the 2020 prospects are Mr Biden and progressive figures like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders or Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. But those three are far from being sure things should the actually enter the Democratic primary process going into 2020, with younger candidates like Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke, California Senator Kamala Harris, and New Jersey Senator Corey Booker all getting plenty of attention as potential candidates.
It is not clear that Mr Biden will actually join in the 2020 pool, and has ran on two other occasions previously but did not manage to clinch is party’s nomination either time. He declined to run in 2016, citing fresh grief after the death of his son, Beau.
But, Mr Biden clearly believes he has something to offer in 2020, and said recently that he believes he is the most qualified person to be elected president.
“I'll be as straight with you as I can. I think I'm the most qualified person in the country to be president,” Mr Biden said recently in Montana, where he was speaking as a part of his national book tour. “The issues that we face as a country today are the issues that have been in my wheelhouse, that I've worked on my whole life”.
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