During the Senate impeachment trial (which has now resulted in Trump’s acquittal), the former president’s lawyers showed plenty of video featuring Democrats urging their supporters to “fight like hell” as well as claims that Joe Biden said little to nothing in the way of denouncing the violence, rioting and looting that took place in many U.S. cities last spring and summer.
Washington Post fact-checker framed it this way in order to provide a “false” rating to such claims about Biden:
It’s totally false Biden repeatedly refused to condemn the rioters over the summer.
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) February 13, 2021
In typical “fact-checker” style, that’s framed in a way that’s easy to parse if necessary.
You are splitting hairs. He did fail to condemn it when he should have been speaking out against it. He spent most of the summer hiding in his bunker and refusing to say anything at all other than carefully prepared statements that didn’t include condemning the rioters. https://t.co/OodCN7Xzce
— Ken Gardner (@KenGardner11) February 13, 2021
First of all, “refused to condemn” would imply that Biden was asked to condemn the rioting, and since Biden rarely took reporters’ questions — and when he did they were often the softest of softballs — that didn’t happen. But it certainly took a long time for Biden to say anything negative specifically about the riots in U.S. cities:
He said nothing until Don Lemon said in air that it was being reflected in the polls.https://t.co/ucFLACN5PM
— Stacey (@ScotsFyre) February 13, 2021
He never once condemned the riots until CNN announced it was hurting his poll numbers then he gave an half hearted response. That’s a FACT…….
— Mike Parker (@MJP1313) February 13, 2021
It was at the end of August last year, many weeks into unrest in the streets of U.S. cities, that CNN’s Don Lemon said the then Democrat nominee should speak out forcefully against the rioting. Why? Because it was hurting the Democrats’ poll numbers.
during which night the Democrat convention did he mention it?
— Febrewary 🍻 (@PorterPints) February 13, 2021
It was mentioned a grand total of zero times during the Democrat convention.
He both-sided it.
"Do you condemn BLM-ANTIFA riots?"
"I condemn all violence."
"This specific thing?"
"I condemn all things."
In 2016, every D running had to apologize for saying "All lives matter" because it wasn't specific. Now they aren't specific because it's their base. https://t.co/rJnj3nI2BD
— Reverend Doctor Jill Biden Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) February 13, 2021
Biden was pushed to make a statement and did say some words against the violence after pushed on it for months but he also stated he backed the "peaceful protests" and we know what that means. https://t.co/0FBuzwVmck
— Tweeter hugs and advice with some cold hard tweets (@Vertigo1776) February 13, 2021
In one sense, this statement is technically true.
Biden was rarely asked to condemn rioters over the summer. Media were very cooperative that way.
Biden *failed* repeatedly to condemn rioters over the summer. https://t.co/nEnGjNYDC7
— J.E. Dyer (@OptimisticCon) February 13, 2021
Meanwhile, Biden’s running mate at the time did the exact opposite of “condemn”:
Biden put out a few statements—including one bizarrely blaming the alt right—on it and then ignored/dodged it like crazy. Meanwhile, Kamala fundraised to bail out rioters. https://t.co/sz0ZPQPCFd
— Brad Polumbo 🇺🇸⚽️ 🏳️🌈 (@brad_polumbo) February 13, 2021
Not only untrue, but his VP helped raise money for them https://t.co/wt1Vy3JCou
— Benjamin Weingarten (@bhweingarten) February 13, 2021