Former Vice President Joe Biden criticized the Trump administration and its supporters during a recent speech at the Human Rights Campaign annual LGBTQ dinner, per Newsweek.
Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden spoke alongside other progressive politicians like Virginia state delegate Danica Roem, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to the crowd of LGBTQ activists.
“We’ve come this far because you spoke up, because you demanded justice, because you’d been denied to long — and you did it despite the voices of intolerance that tried to tear you down. And many of you — especially those of you closer to my age — paid an enormous personal price, a professional price and literally put your lives in jeopardy to speak out,” Biden told the crowd. “You risked your livelihoods, your very personal wellbeing.”
“Your tenacity, your integrity literally bent the arc, the moral arc of this nation, much more toward justice,” Biden said.
Among praise and encouragement for advancements of LGBTQ civil rights, Biden took shots at President Trump during his speech, claiming the commander in chief was using the “White House as a literal, literal bully pulpit, callously exerting his power over those who have little or none” and accusing him and his administration of being an ally to “forces of intolerance.”
The vice president also took aim at Trump voters and those against LGBTQ equality.
“They’re a small percentage of the American people, virulent people. Some of them, the dregs of society,” Biden said.
Biden told the crowd him and former President Barack Obama had agreed to “remain silent” initially about the incoming president to give them time to “get up and running.”
“God forgive me,” Biden said, clearly appearing to lament the choice.
Biden said the alt-right, white supremacist Unite the Right rally on August 2017 that led to the death of 32-year-old protester Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia, was the turning point where the duo reconsidered their silence.
Both condemned the president, Biden warning the United States in October 2017 that the U.S. was heading down a “very dark path” and Obama breaking his silence in a speech last month, according to Newsweek.
“We have leaders who at the time when that occurred, when these guys were accompanied by white supremacists and Ku Klux Klan…making a comparison saying there are good people in both groups,” the former vice president said, referring to Trump’s comments in the wake of the tragedy, claiming that there were “fine people on both sides” of the protests.
“What has become of us? Our children are listening. Our silence is complicity,” Biden told the crowd.
We are all used to Creepy Joe saying stupid stuff but this is too far even for him. https://t.co/vNiD9TDZg6
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 16, 2018
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, responded to Biden’s comments on Twitter, writing “We’re all used to Creepy Joe saying stupid stuff, but this is too far even for him.”