Last updated on April 16, 2020
Joe Biden on Wednesday accused President Donald Trump of throwing “temper tantrums” rather than showing concern for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, escalating his criticism of Trump following a series of exceedingly contentious White House briefings over the past few weeks.
“He likes to say he’s a wartime president. Well, he needs to begin to step up and act like one,” Biden said during a virtual town hall with non-healthcare front-line workers. “Not harangue the press for hours on end while people are dying, your friends and coworkers are dying, our family members and friends and neighbors are dying, while Trump is having temper tantrums about his authority.”
Even with the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus approaching 28,000, Trump has for weeks expressed his impatience to begin the process of reviving the economy. This is despite the administration’s having yet to put forth a plan for doing so, and warnings from medical experts against the consequences of doing so before the virus is under control.
I am not running for office to be King of America. I respect the Constitution. I’ve read the Constitution. I’ve sworn an oath to it many times. I respect the great job so many of this country’s governors — Democratic and Republican — are doing under these horrific circumstances. https://t.co/vMtcfD45mG— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 14, 2020
Endorser after endorser — including former President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren this week — has lauded Biden’s ability to connect with what someone else is feeling and pointed to that characteristic as making him uniquely qualified to lead the country, particularly during a time of crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.The focus on empathy and decency draws a not-so-subtle contrast with President Donald Trump, who has struggled to show compassion at times during his presidency.Biden mentioned Trump’s difficulties with empathy during a town hall on Wednesday.
“Have you heard him offer anything that approaches a sincere expression of empathy for the people who are hurting?” Biden asked. “Have we seen any sign that he grasps just how hard it will be for people to recover from this?”Warren backed the former vice president on Wednesday by saying the “unspeakable tragedy” Biden has faced “animate the empathy he extends to Americans who are struggling — no matter what their story.”“Empathy matters,” Warren said. “And, in this moment of crisis, it’s more important than ever that the next president restores Americans’ faith in good, effective government. Joe Biden has spent nearly his entire life in public service. He knows that a government run with integrity, competence, and heart will save lives and save livelihoods.”Warren’s praise echoed Obama, who said a day earlier that Biden has the “honesty and humility; empathy and grace” to lead the country.“He’s someone whose own life has taught him how to persevere; how to bounce back when you’ve been knocked down,” Obama said. “When Joe talks to families who’ve lost a hero, we hear another parent of an American veteran; a kindred spirit; somebody whose faith has endured the hardest loss there is.”
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