- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The GOP says presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden is trying to run away from his own shadow in his push to defeat President Trump.

The Republican National Committee said Tuesday when it comes to criminal justice legislation Mr. Biden has had the reverse Midas touch.

“Hoping to distance himself from decades of bad policy, Joe Biden is now calling for reforms to his own legislation,” the RNC said in a “Research Briefing” email blast.

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the ensuing protests, riots, and looting have thrust the issue of criminal justice back onto the front-burner in Washington and in the 2020 presidential race.

President Trump planned to respond Tuesday by signing an executive order that reportedly would include national standards of use of force and tracking of police officers with records of misconduct.

For his part, Mr. Biden has said Mr. Trump has made the situation worse by espousing a law and order stance that has further divided the nation and inflamed racial tensions.

Mr. Biden has said Mr. Floyd’s death should be a “wake-up call for our nation” and said it is time for Congress to pass “real police reform” - including legislation ending chokeholds, stopping the transfer of military weapons to police departments and creating a “model of use force standard” for law enforcement departments.

The RNC, though, says Mr. Biden should be blaming himself. They pointed to news reports highlighting how the former Delaware senator embraced a tough-on-crime stance in Congress that included playing a lead role in authoring the 1994 Crime Bill alongside the National Association of Police Organizations, which activists now blame for adding to the problem of mass incarceration of minorities.

Mr. Biden has said some of his previous legislative efforts were a mistake.

On Tuesday, the RNC said Mr. Biden is trying to rewrite his history.

Biden may be an advocate for reform now, but as senator his record tells a different story,” they said.

They said he criticized the Reagan administration for being too soft on crime, and not investing more in the war on drugs. He helped expand civil asset forfeiture, and backed legislation that paved the Pentagon to transfer military equipment to police departments in the 1990s, they said.

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