Former Vice President Joseph Biden, making his first comments since the discovery of that suspicious packages containing potential explosive devices were mailed to him, said that “this division, this hatred, this ugliness — it has to end.”
Speaking at an event at the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y., Biden also said that the press is “not the enemy of the people,” calling out one of the phrases that President Trump has used to characterize the “fake news media.” Biden also decried the characterization of immigrants as “animals.”
Authorities discovered two packages in Delaware that were addressed to Biden, and they were sent to an FBI facility in Quantico, Va., to be examined.
So far, a total of ten packages have been found, and they all have targeted top Democrats or critics of President Trump.
“Folks, I’ve been doing this a long time. I got elected to the United States Senate when I was 29 years old. I wasn’t old enough to be sworn in when I got elected. I had to wait 17 days to be eligible,” Biden said.
“I’ve never, ever, ever looked at a political opponent as an enemy. They are an opponent in a contest of ideas, but not an enemy. We are Americans before we are Democrats or Republicans or Independents.”
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Biden is a potential contender for the 2020 presidential nomination. He has occasionally engaged in heated political rhetoric himself, as when he said that he could have “beat the hell out of” Trump in high school because of the comments that Trump has made about women. Biden later expressed regret for the remarks.
For his part, Trump said that he would win in a fight and that Biden would “go down fast and hard, crying all the way.”
In the wake of the discovery of the suspicious packages, Trump has not expressed regret for his remarks, including his praise last week for Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Montana) for body slamming a reporter while on the campaign trail. Instead, Trump has blamed the news media for the caustic state of political discourse.
In his remarks, Biden said that his hope “is that this recent spate of these — who knows exactly what they were — these pipe bombs being mailed might wake everybody in my business up a bit and realize that we have to begin to put this country back together again.”
He said, “Folks, we don’t yet have all the facts yet and we don’t know who is behind this or why they are doing it. But, as my mother used to say, ‘out of something bad, Joey, something good will come if you look hard enough for it.'”
He said, “My hope and prayer is that all of our leaders will work to lower the temperature in our public dialogue. And I have faith they will do that.”