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President Trump invokes ‘blood-stained sidewalks of Chicago’ in attack on Joe Biden

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 8/21/2020 By Bill Ruthhart, Chicago Tribune

In what has become a near-daily occurrence recently, President Donald Trump invoked Chicago’s inability to tamp down violent crime in a preemptive attack against Joe Biden just hours before the former vice president planned to accept his party’s nomination for the presidency.

If Biden and Democrats gain control of Washington, Trump warned, the “blood-stained sidewalks of Chicago” and ills of other major cities will become commonplace across the country. The president has drawn upon such disturbing imagery in recent days to bolster what he’s pitching as a law-and-order campaign.

“If you want a vision of your life under a Biden presidency, think of the smoldering ruins of Minneapolis, the violent anarchy of Portland, the blood-stained sidewalks of Chicago, and imagine the mayhem coming to your town and every single town in America,” Trump said in remarks he delivered near Scranton, Pennsylvania, Biden’s hometown. “You’re not going to have law and order.”

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In an appearance Thursday evening on CNN, Mayor Lori Lightfoot was asked by anchor Wolf Blitzer if she had a response for Trump.

“I don’t respond to that,” Lightfoot said, before proceeding to do so. She called the remarks part of his “hyperbolic rhetoric” featured in his constant “race to the bottom.”

“We’re going to see that every day between now and Nov. 3. He’s trying to scare white middle-class voters and trying to borrow — and really clumsily so — from the 1968 Richard Nixon playbook,” Lightfoot said. “It’s a different world, and what we have here is a fundamentally failed leadership on every major issue.”

The former federal prosecutor then quickly ticked off a list of what she considers Trump’s current lowlights.

“Why are we meeting remotely? Why are schools not reopening? Why are businesses suffering? Why are we seeing a catastrophic economic decline?” Lightfoot asked. “It all leads back to Donald Trump’s incompetence as president of the United States.”

bruthhart@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @BillRuthhart

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