Former Vice President Joe Biden is taking aim at President Donald Trump as he campaigns through Eastern Iowa.
The front-runner in a field of more than 20 democratic candidates made his first stop of the campaign in Burlington Wednesday afternoon.
He spoke to a packed venue about fighting for the soul of the nation, following this weekend’s two mass shootings.
Biden points to President Trump as as creating a safe space for white supremacy in the United States.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said, “We have a president with a toxic tongue, who’s publicly and un-apologetically embraced the strategy of hate, racism and division.”
Biden told the crowd his original plan for coming to Burlington was to talk about the rural economy, trade and agriculture.
Instead Biden said the message he was giving was his response to the tragedy and to lay out a promise to lead the nation forward.
During his speech, he also promised to reinstate the assault weapons ban he helped to pass in 1994.
“They’ll be banned and when we do it, we’ll put in place a buy back program to get as many of these military-style weapons of war as possible off the street. And we need, we need a domestic terrorism law,” said Biden.
Voter Dianne Lerud-Chubb said, “He did have a couple of ideas that are practical solutions, the only problem is trying to get them implemented, either on a statewide level or a federal level.”
Biden used most of the 30 minutes to express his frustration with the president’s response to address mass shootings.
“He’s [President Trump] cutting funding, in some cases, completely eliminating initiated by Barack, the president and I in our administration to counter violent extremism at home,” Biden said,
The former VP also said President Trump hasn’t gone far enough to denounce the far-right elements linked to the attacks.
Adding it goes against the founding principles of the nation.
Speaking with voters after the event, they expressed that Biden’s message was timely and shows why he could make a good leader in the White House.
Voter Richard Fuller said, “I did have the thought that possibly he’s getting a little bit long in the tooth which we all are but I think his message today is right on the money. I think he’s going to be the one to save us if anyone can.”
Some voters also said they’re planning to support Biden all the way through the Iowa caucuses, while others are waiting to decide, wanting to hear more from Biden about his plans as President.
Biden is on a swing through Iowa. He will be at the state fair on Thursday.