Former Vice President Joe Biden criticized President Donald Trump Tuesday for embracing a strategy of fear ahead of the midterm elections and compared him to George Wallace, a former governor of Alabama who supported segregation and was a vocal opponent of the Civil Rights movement.
During a rally at the Cheyenne Saloon, the former vice president referenced a Washington Post article titled, “Trump and Republicans settle on fear — and falsehoods — as a midterm strategy.”
“No president has ever led by fear. Not Lincoln. Not Roosevelt. Not Kennedy. Not Reagan,” Biden said. “This president is more like George Wallace than George Washington!”
“Democrats have to choose hope over fear, unity over division. We have to choose our allies over our enemies. We have to choose truth over lies,” he added. “We have to choose a brighter future for Americans over this desperate grip of the darkest elements of our past in our society.”
On Monday, Biden criticized Trump’s response to the migrant caravan moving towards the United States through Central America and Mexico.
“The caravan is 2,000 miles away. He’s making it sound like they’re breaking through the border. This is hysteria on his part,” Biden told CNN after a rally in Jacksonville.
Earlier that day, Trump said he would declare a “national emergency” over the migrant caravan and claimed without evidence there “unknown Middle Easterners” mixed in the caravans.
On Tuesday, the President pushed back on the suggestion he is stoking fear for political purposes.
“No, not at all,” Trump told reporters at the White House, “I’m a very non-political person. And that’s why I got elected president.”
Pressed for proof that Middle Eastern individuals were a part of the caravan, Trump said, “There’s no proof of anything.”
“There could very well be. There’s no proof of anything. There’s no proof of anything but they could very well be,” Trump said.
Biden has spent the past two days in Florida campaigning on behalf of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, Sen. Bill Nelson and other Democrats in the state.
Biden’s trip to the battleground state comes as he’s weighing a potential presidential run in 2020 – an idea he was unable to escape as people in the audience offered words of encouragement at his rallies.
After the crowd in Orlando interrupted him with cheers about running in 2020, Biden said, “This is about Bill, not about me!”
“My dad used to have an expression. He said ‘Joey, don’t compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative,’” Biden added. “The only reason I look good is because of the alternative.”