Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Monday ripped into President Donald Trump's rhetoric in the wake of two deadly mass shootings that took place within 13 hours, saying Trump has dumbed down "the way we as a society talk about each other."
"This is a president who has said things no other president has said since Andrew Jackson," Biden said during an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper set to air Monday night.
"And the idea that it doesn't contribute to, or legitimate, or make it more rational for people to think, 'We, in fact, can now speak out. We can speak out and be more straightforward and we can make this an issue.'
"We've been through this before. We've been through this before, in the 20s, with the Ku Klux Klan, 50,000 people walking out Pennsylvania Avenue in pointed hats and their robes because they decided they didn't want any Catholics coming into the country. We've been through it after the Civil War in terms of the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacy.
"This is about separating people in the good and bad in his mind. It's about an access to power. It's a trait used by charlatans all over the world, divide people – divide them, pit them against one another."
Trump earlier in the day condemned racism, bigotry, and white supremacy, but stopped short of calling for additional gun measures, instead blaming violent video games and mental illness, for the uptick in mass shootings.
The El Paso, Texas shooter, identified by police as a 21-year-old white man from the Dallas area, reportedly posted a screed online where he railed against immigration and announced the attack was "a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas."
"There's no question that his rhetoric has contributed to, at a minimum, of dumbing down the way we as a society talk about each other," Biden said. "He looks like he has flat out abandoned the theory that we are one people."
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