Biden campaign reacts to Trump's Mount Rushmore speech: America is 'suffering' from 'divisive president'
Posted July 4, 2020 1:39 p.m. EDT
CNN — The Biden campaign on Saturday said the United States is "suffering" as a result of having a "divisive" president who doesn't "give a damn about anything but his own gain," responding to President Donald Trump's Mount Rushmore speech on Friday.
"Our whole country is suffering through the excruciating costs of having a negligent, divisive president who doesn't give a damn about anything but his own gain - not the sick, not the jobless, not our constitution, and not our troops in harm's way," campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement of Trump. "Even as the outbreak ramps up, he's admitted to ordering that the federal testing response be watered down."
Bates said Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is "running on the opposite values."
With Mount Rushmore as his backdrop, Trump on Friday railed against a "merciless campaign" by his political foes to "wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values" by removing monuments some say are symbols of racial oppression. Trump repeatedly decried attempts to examine faults in America's past and maligned protesters as a nefarious left-wing mob that intends to "end America."
Instead of hitting a more unifying tone during the Independence Day celebration, Trump fueled the culture wars and made an impassioned appeal to his base, using pronouns like "we" and "they" and "them" in his remarks to draw a divide.
And despite the week of skyrocketing coronavirus cases in the US, the President mentioned the virus only in passing at the top of his remarks, thanking those working to fight it.
Trump last month said he instructed his administration to slow down coronavirus testing because an increased number of cases made the country look bad. Administration officials claimed slowing down testing has not been requested and that Trump's comments were made "in jest," but the President maintained that he wasn't kidding.
In a short video message released by the White House, the President wished Americans a happy Fourth of July and said that the United States is "getting close to fighting our way out" of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Trump claimed that the US was "doing better than any country had ever done in history, and not just us, any country" four months ago before it was "hit with this terrible plague from China."
"Our country is coming back," he said.
In further contrast to Trump, Biden on Saturday focused his July Fourth message on racial justice and called on Americans to "commit to finally fulfill" America's founding principle that "all men are created equal."
"We have a chance now to give the marginalized, the demonized, the isolated, the oppressed a full share of American dream," Biden says in the video. "We have a chance to rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country."
Biden later tweeted that "one of the most patriotic things you can do is wear a mask" during the coronavirus pandemic.