“It Is What It Is Because You Are Who You Are:” Vice President Biden Lays Out Stark Contrast in Leadership at First Presidential Debate

From issues like surging gun violence to the Supreme Court, Vice President Biden illustrates how President Trump’s ineptitude and leadership have failed the United States

Washington, D.C., September 29, 2020 – Following the first Presidential Debate in Cleveland, Ohio, the Brady Campaign underscores the importance of expanding access to our democracy and supporting needed voting infrastructure. In this debate, only Vice President Joe Biden demonstrated the thoughtful leadership required to protect our democracy and address gun violence. During this debate, President Trump shared viciously racist comments on criminal justice, police reform, and crime, lied about the safety of voting processes and fanned the flames of militant white supremacy, insurrectionism, and voter intimidation.

Brady Campaign President Kris Brown shared:

“Tonight, America was afforded a clear and stark contrast in leadership and vision. While President Trump repeatedly cited surging violence across the country as an excuse for excessive federal force, he ignored that violence has increased in Trump’s America. Vice President Biden shared clear steps to calm tensions across our country and address systemic racism in our policing systems, bringing our country together for a more just and equitable future. The opposite of President Trump’s division.

When given the opportunity to loudly and clearly condemn vigilante militias and white supremacist groups, President Trump did the opposite, telling the Proud Boys, a known neo-fascist group, to ‘stand back and stand by.’ There is no question what candidate will advance the interests of all Americans and address our nation’s deep crises, including our gun violence epidemic, by bringing all of us together.

President Trump used his national platform to again share disinformation about the legitimacy of our election and voting processes. It is egregious that the President of the United States would lie to the American public in this forum. Real barriers exist in our democracy, beyond the conditions imposed by a global pandemic, that suppress and discourage Americans from voting. Voting by mail is not one of them. We must expand access to our democracy, not suppress the vote.

Tonight, Vice President Biden said it best, ‘like almost everything [President Trump] does, he has no plan.’ President Trump has had four years to unite our nation and address gun violence. He has shown that he cannot do so. He does not have a plan and, by every measure, we are worse off than we were at the start of his term. Tonight, Vice President Biden displayed that he has a plan and that he is ready to lead.”


Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.

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