Patrick MarleyMary SpicuzzaBill GlauberAlison Dirr
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
KENOSHA - Joe Biden accused President Donald Trump of breathing life into racist movements Thursday as he visited this city shaken by shootings and unrest and privately talked with Jacob Blake and his family.
Biden said he spoke by phone to Blake, a Black man who was shot by a city police officer Aug. 23, an incident that sparked protests, as well as lootings and arson.
Biden said Blake, who has suffered paralysis from the waist down, was released from the intensive care unit.
"He talked about how nothing was going to defeat him, how whether he walked again or not he was not going to give up,” Biden said.
"What I came away with was the overwhelming sense of resilience and optimism that they have,” he said of Blake's family. “His mom said a prayer and she said, ‘I’m praying for Jacob and I’m praying for the policeman as well. I’m praying that things change.’ If you think a little bit about where we are right now, it’s been a terrible, terrible wakeup call. ...
It was the Democratic presidential nominee's first campaign appearance in Wisconsin this year and came just two days after Trump's visit to Kenosha. He made his stop even though Democratic Gov. Tony Evers didn't want the presidential contenders to visit the city as the community tries to reunify.
Biden also stopped in Wauwatosa, where he held a small roundtable discussion on schools.