Vice President Joe Biden on Monday rebuffed comments by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani describing the Black Lives Matter movement as “inherently racist,” calling it “a very broad statement.”
“Look what (President Barack Obama) said when the Black Lives Matter people in one demonstration said, ‘kill the police, the sooner the better,’ or some phrase like that. The President condemned it immediately,” Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “But that’s not the black community – that group, that element of Black Lives Matter, doesn’t speak for all of Black Lives Matter and does not speak for most folks in the black community, both middle class and poor, who know they are more likely to be pulled over than the Caucasian guy.”
Five police officers were killed in Dallas last week, and two bailiffs and a suspect were killed after a courthouse shooting in Michigan Monday afternoon. Biden heads to Dallas on Tuesday for a memorial service honoring the officers.
Protesters have taken to the streets in several cities across the nation, such as Baton Rouge, to draw attention to what they consider improper police tactics.
“There are some people in Black Lives Matter who don’t want to talk and have dialogue, and others who do,” Biden said.
Biden described his afternoon meeting with Obama and law enforcement leaders as candid, with at least two organizations telling the administration that they were not doing enough to support police officers. He said the White House should reexamine how extensively cops are trained – especially on de-escalating conflict – and additional equipment they can receive from the military.
“There’s nothing inconsistent with supporting the police and acknowledging the problems that exist in terms of dealing with the communities that, in fact, are feeling put upon,” Biden said, summarizing Obama’s message. “I’m feeling good about the direction this is going.”
Biden said he would meet with the groups again in two weeks.
The vice president, who publicly weighed a 2016 presidential bid but declined last fall, also defended his now-chosen candidate, Hillary Clinton. FBI Director James Comey deemed her use of a private email server to be “extremely careless,” but also recommended the Justice Department not press charges.
Biden said despite everything, Clinton could still earn voters’ trust.
“Here’s the measure, I think, that folks are going to apply: Look at Donald Trump and what he’s saying and ask yourself, ‘Is it believable? Does he know what he’s talking about? Will it solve any of my problems?’ ” Biden said. “And look at what she has to say, what she’s proposing, and the honesty of her proposals. That’s the best way to deal with the perception that I think exists now.”