Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Wednesday blamed current U.S. leaders for the rise in hate crimes in the nation.
“We are in a battle for the soul of this nation,” Mr. Biden said. “We have to recognize that trend lines are moving in the wrong direction.”
He spoke at the Lantos Foundation’s 10th-anniversary gala, where he was honored with the Decennial Lantos Legacy Award.
Mr. Biden specifically cited a report from the Anti-Defamation League that found anti-Semitic incidents increased nearly 60 percent in 2017 alone.
“It’s not an accident,” he said. “Our leadership is giving license to, giving license to this prejudice.”
The former vice president may run for the White House once again in 2020, although he said recently that he is still discussing the decision with his family.
At another speaking event Monday night, Mr. Biden wasn’t shy about angling himself to run.
“I’ll be as straight with you as I can. I think I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president,” he said at the University of Montana.