Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said the remarks President Trump made earlier on Friday by invoking George Floyd’s name while touting May unemployment numbers were “despicable.”
“Before I speak to the economic situation, I have to take a moment to address something that the president said this morning. Toward the end of his remarks, President Trump said that he hopes that, quote, ‘George Floyd is looking down and seeing this is a great day for our country,'” Biden said during a speech to a small group of students at Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware. “We’re speaking of a man who was brutally killed by an act of needless violence and by a larger tide of injustice that has metastasized on this president’s watch as he’s moved to split us based on race and religion, ethnicity.”
Biden added, “George Floyd’s last words, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, have echoed all across this nation and quite frankly around the world. For the president to try to put any other words in the mouth of George Floyd I frankly think is despicable.”
The comments from Biden came after Trump during a news conference Friday morning addressing the positive economic numbers that were released for the month of May that showed unemployment at 13.3 percent, a drop from 14.7 percent in April. The president called the surprising report “incredible and referenced Floyd during his remarks, saying he is “looking down and saying this is great thing happening for our country.”
“Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing happening for our country. This is a great day for him, its a great day for everybody.”
The former Vice President said he was “disturbed” to see Trump take a victory lap this morning calling it premature to “basically hanging a mission accomplished banner out there when there’s so much more work to be done.”
“I was disturbed to see the president crowing this morning — basically hanging a ‘mission accomplished’ banner when there is so much work to be done and so many Americans are still hurting,” he said. “Donald Trump still doesn’t get it. He’s out there spiking the ball, completely oblivious to the tens of millions of people who are facing the greatest struggle of their lives.”
He also added that Trump doesn’t deserve any credit for the uptick job numbers because he is “completely oblivious” for not taking responsibility for cost millions of Americans their jobs.
“These are some of the sternest challenges our nation has ever faced, and Donald Trump is patting himself on the back,” Biden stated. “He remains completely oblivious to the human toll of his indifference. It’s time for him to step out of his own bunker, take a look around the consequences of his words and his actions. Let’s be clear. The president who takes no responsibility for costing millions and millions of Americans their jobs deserves no credit when a fraction of them return.”
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) also condemned Trump’s remark in a tweet: “Keep George Floyd’s name out of your mouth until you can say Black Lives Matter.”
The Trump campaign fired back at Biden’s comments, saying in a statement the former Vice President along with the press are misconstruing the president’s remarks.
“Members of the news media have called for national unity following the horrific killing of George Floyd, but many today purposefully misreported President Trump’s remarks in an effort to further divide Americans and score political points against the President,” Tim Murtaugh, Trump 2020 campaign spokesperson said. “In the course of Rose Garden remarks about strong economic news, the President also spoke of the national conversation that is taking place following Mr. Floyd’s killing, and of Americans coming together on the belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law.”