(CNN)Democratic nominee Joe Biden is traveling to Wisconsin on Thursday, planning to hold a community event in Kenosha and then meet with the family of Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old Black man who was shot in the back by police.
Biden’s trip comes two days after President Donald Trump visited Wisconsin. Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, have also spoken with Blake’s family; Trump has not. For Biden, the trip is a return of sorts to travel to the most important 2020 swing states — which his campaign has strictly limited since mid-March amid the coronavirus pandemic. He also delivered a speech Monday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, another crucial state in November’s general election.
Biden told reporters Wednesday he has received “overwhelming requests” from Democratic leaders that he travel to Wisconsin.”What we want to do is — we’ve got to heal. We’ve got to put things together. Bring people together,” Biden said.Read MoreThe shooting of Blake — which left him paralyzed from the waist down, his family says — has moved police brutality, racial injustice and the looting and property damage that have followed some protests to the forefront in one of the nation’s most important swing states in November’s general election.Biden and Harris on Thursday released an ad featuring both candidates called “We’re Listening,” addressing police violence and targeting Black voters. The ad is airing digitally in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina, and will soon be part of national cable and swing-state television advertising, Biden’s campaign said. In the ad, Harris lays out a police reform agenda, saying she and Biden would create a national standard on use of force and condition police departments’ federal funding on whether they adopt that standard; and said the United States should rein in qualified immunity, which makes it difficult to sue police officers who abuse their authority.In his speech Monday in Pennsylvania, Biden hammered Trump for fomenting racial unrest, failing to address police violence and sidestepping responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis.”Do you really feel safer under Donald Trump?” Biden asked repeatedly in the speech in Pittsburgh.He also condemned violence, looting and property damage — and lambasted Trump for failing to condemn, and partially praising, Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old charged with allegedly killing two protesters in Kenosha.View Trump and Biden head-to-head polling “I want to be very clear about all of this: Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted,” Biden said. “Violence will not bring change, it will only bring destruction. It’s wrong in every way.”While in Kenosha Tuesday, Trump did not meet with the family of Blake. Trump claimed that he’s not meeting with Blake’s family during his Wisconsin visit because they wanted to involve lawyers. The pastors of Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, took part in one event.
During the trip, Trump was asked by a reporter whether he thinks systemic racism is a problem in the United States, given that there are also peaceful protests around the country calling for an end to it. The President responded: “Well, you know you just keep getting back to the opposite subject. We should talk about the kind of violence we’ve seen in Portland and here and other places.””The fact is that we’ve seen tremendous violence and we will put it out very, very quickly if given the chance,” he said.