Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden re-entered the political fray Sunday, saying President Trump has “emboldened white supremacists” in the wake of the recent violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Mr. Biden said America has fought civil rights battles before, but has a “special challenge” now.
“Today we have an American president who has publicly proclaimed a moral equivalency between neo-Nazis and Klansmen and those who would oppose their venom and hate,” he wrote in an essay for The Atlantic.
“We have an American president who has emboldened white supremacists with messages of comfort and support,” he wrote.
“If it wasn’t clear before, it’s clear now: We are living through a battle for the soul of this nation,” Mr. Biden wrote.
Mr. Trump initially condemned hatred, bigotry and violence on “many sides” amid the clash in Charlottesville between white supremacists and anti-racism counterprotesters. He then condemned the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists specifically before saying later that there was blame on both sides.
Mr. Biden took a pass on running for president in 2016, saying he couldn’t have devoted the energy and attention needed to make a White House run after his son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015.
Mr. Biden also said in a speech at Colgate University in March he thought he could have won had he run and that he regrets “not being president.”