Vice President Joe Biden offered some harsh criticism of GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s comments about the Mexican government and immigrants coming to the United States.
Biden was speaking to nearly 75 guests at a Hispanic heritage event from his residence on Sept. 15 when he criticized the New York businessman’s campaign rhetoric.
Trump’s “sick message” has led to a rise of “xenophobia” within the Republican Party, Biden said. He also called Trump's statements "absolutely denigrating" to the Mexican-American population and future immigrants coming to the United States.
“What’s going on with the other side … folks, this will not prevail,” Biden added. “So folks, don’t be down. This is going to be a fight. But in the meantime, don’t be down.”
Trump’s contentious and controversial campaign has drawn the ire of some fellow Republicans running for president, and many have called on Trump to apologize for his remarks, such as when he called some Mexican illegal immigrants “rapists."
More significant, however, is Biden’s increased presence at public events speaking to key constituencies. The former Delaware senator has been talked about as a possible presidential threat to Democratic frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should he announce his candidacy. His son Beau, who passed away earlier this year, reportedly encouraged his father to run for the White House before his death.
“I don’t think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president and, number two, they can look at folks out there and say, ‘I promise you, you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy, and my passion to do this,’” Biden said to late night talk show host Stephen Colbert last week. “And I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there.”
Biden also discussed the reception that Pope Francis is receiving just one week before he is set to arrive in the United States. The Pope is “the most popular man in the world,” Biden said.
Shortly after, the crowd began chanting, “Run, Joe, Run!” to which Biden replied, “Oh, no, no, no, no.”