Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Thursday criticized Democratic nominee for president Joe Biden’s reaction to rioting and looting as weak, telling Newsmax TV that the former vice president failed to condemn the rioters and instead chose to direct most of his blame at President Donald Trump.
Bondi, 54, the first woman elected as attorney general in Florida in 2010 and who was a member of Trump’s defense team during his impeachment trial, excoriated Biden for his speech Monday in Pittsburgh in which he said “rioting is not protesting” but then also claimed Trump has spent “years fomenting it.”
“What’s so frightening about Joe Biden (is) he had the opportunity to come out, he had a national platform…did you hear him once condemn antifa? No,” she said on “Stinchfield.” “He was focused on attacking President Trump instead of attacking the violent rioters throughout this country.”
Biden’s speech came a week after riots erupted in Kenosha following the shooting of a Black man by police, who were responding to a report of a domestic dispute. Police shot the man, who was wanted for felony sexual assault, after two attempts to subdue him with a stun gun were unsuccessful.
It also came following calls for Biden to address the rioting, particularly in Kenosha but also in cities such as Portland, Chicago and elsewhere, by commentators, including CNN's Don Lemon, who said it was a "blind spot" for Democrats and "It's showing up in the polling. It's showing up in focus groups."
Unidentified Democrats also worried aloud, albeit anonymously, the issue was hurting their electoral chances.
Bondi lashed out at Biden for not directly criticizing the rioters, which she suggested were his voters.
“He could have said, ‘Hey,’ all of them, his supporters out there, ‘You need to stop the violence. Walk away from it,’” she said. “’No violence. No rioting. Leave our U.S. Marshals alone. Leave our federal buildings alone.’
“None of that. None of that.”
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