- The Washington Times - Friday, June 12, 2020

Libertarian presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen said Friday that President Trump and likely Democratic opponent Joseph R. Biden are both too tainted to lead the country through this moment in racial tension, and urged voters to look beyond those men to her own candidacy.

Ms. Jorgensen said Mr. Biden, despite his promises to heal “racial wounds,” needs to disavow the “racist policies he put in place, starting with the war on drugs.”

And she said Mr. Trump, while using clemency on “a token handful” of inmates convicted of drug crimes, has still left tens of thousands of drug-crime convicts behind bars.

“When it comes to racial injustice, it’s time for my opponents to stop their self-serving grandstanding,” she said. “Discriminatory drug-law enforcement is a big reason that people of color are five times more likely to be imprisoned than whites.”

Ms. Jorgensen said if she wins the White House she will immediately pardon all “victimless federal drug-law prisoners” in federal facilities, and urge states to do the same.

“But why wait? Justice demands that both of my opponents call for an end to the racist War on Drugs right now,” she said in a statement.

Race and policing have surged to the forefront of the political debate, even surmounting coronavirus coverage, in the wake of the death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.

Congress is debating national legislation and Mr. Trump is eyeing his own executive changes. Mr. Biden, meanwhile, has promised his own set of steps should he win office.

But Ms. Jorgensen said Mr. Biden’s experience in the late 1980s and 1990s undercuts his vows.

She said Mr. Biden, at the time a senator, was a driving force behind a surge of police officers, prosecutors and prison cells intended to tamp down on rising drug-trade fueled violence.

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