Vice President Joe Biden has brought the 2017 attack on counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia back to the forefront of everyone's minds. Reflecting on the clash in a video announcing his 2020 presidential campaign on April 25, Biden said Trump's response at the time made him realize, "We are in the battle for the soul of this nation." Biden specifically honed in on President Donald Trump's "very fine people on both sides" comment, prompting a response from the commander in chief himself. So what'd he say? Donald Trump defended his Charlottesville comments nearly two years after the rally that resulted in the death of a woman protesting the white nationalists.
Trump has long faced criticism for his response to the Charlottesville white nationalist rally. Speaking about the group of white nationalists in August 2017, Trump said there were "very bad people in that group," but he went on to say in the same breath, "But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides." Elite Daily previously reached out to the White House for comment on those remarks, but did not hear back. While speaking to reporters on April 26, Trump doubled down on those comments. According to Politico, he maintained that he responded to the riot — which stemmed from the removal of several Confederate statues — "perfectly."
"I was talking about people who went because they felt very strongly about the statue of Robert E. Lee," he said in reference to his "both sides" comment, per CBS News. "Whether you like it or not, he was one of the great generals."
Once again lauding a Confederate general, Trump's comments left people puzzled by his reaction. It's like a record scratched on Twitter, as evidenced by the perplexed tweets. Some people have a hard time reconciling praise for a general of the Confederacy, which fought to protect the institution of slavery during the Civil War.
The Washington Post even weighed in, tweeting, "[Lee] wasn’t very good at his job."
With Trump's latest defense of his "both sides" comment in response to the rally that resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, I wouldn't hold your breath for a full-out rebuke of the violence that resulted from protests against the removal of Confederate statues — especially since Trump continues to praise Lee.
Unfortunately, that's not all Trump had to say to reporters. When asked how old is too old to run the country in reference to Biden's recent campaign announcement, Trump threw some major shade about his rival. Trump, 72, said that while he feels "young" and "vibrant," he has some concerns about the 76-year-old Biden.
“I just feel like a young man. I’m so young. I can’t believe it — I am the youngest person," he said in a video tweeted out by CBS News. "I’m a young, vibrant man."
"I look at Joe... I don't know about him. I don't know," Trump continued.
According to The Hill, he added:
I would never say anyone’s too old, but I know they’re all making me look very young, both in terms of age and I think in terms of energy.
Biden responded to those comments later on April 26 during an appearance on The View, saying, “If [Trump] looks young and vibrant compared to me, I should probably go home.”
"The best way to judge me is to watch, see if I have the energy and the capacity — it’s a 'show me' business," Biden continued.
He might be on to something there. While Trump may never give the retraction to his Charlottesville comments some people have been hoping for, there's at least a chance to make a change when the polls open in November 2020.