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Biden accused the president of stoking the flames of racism

Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden has promised to spend tens of billions of dollars to help people of colour overcome economic inequality, if he wins the election in November.

In a speech in his home town of Wilmington, Mr Biden promised to boost opportunities for Black, Latino and Native American businesses.

He accused President Donald Trump of stoking the flames of racism.

He also accused Mr Trump of failing to protect people from coronavirus.

Mr Biden holds a clear lead over the president in national polls.

He said he would choose his running-mate “in the first week in August”. He has already promised to choose a female vice-presidential candidate.

“This election is not just about voting against Donald Trump,” Mr Biden said.

“It’s about rising to this moment of crisis, understanding people’s struggles and building a future worthy of their courage and their ambition to overcome.”

The former vice-president to Barack Obama accused Mr Trump of playing politics of division.

“This is about trying to split the country. And so far, thank God, the American people aren’t having any of it,” he said.

“Did you ever think you’d see 77% of the people saying Black Lives Matter? Because they see what happens. And they’re not buying into this racial division. That’s what he’s done since the beginning.”

Mr Biden said he would “leverage more than $150 billion [£116 billion] in new capital and opportunities for small businesses that have been structurally excluded for generations”. This would include by increasing access low-interest business loans.

Trump is making Biden look strong

Elections are often framed as a choice between continuity and change. Yet a selling point for Biden is that he offers voters a version of both.

To the eight in 10 Americans who polling suggests believe the country is heading in the wrong direction, he is promising a course correction. Thus, he can plausibly present himself as a candidate of change.

But by pledging to serve as a conventional president, returning to the norms of behaviour that Republicans and Democratic incumbents have abided by for decades, he also represents a continuum. The repair of a chain in which Trump became the missing link.

Certainly, it would be an act of folly to write off Trump, who has walked away from more car crashes than any other sitting president.

But over the past four years, the scar tissue has accumulated, and the pandemic has left him with self-inflicted wounds. Besides, even some of the supporters who placed their faith in him are tiring of his tricks of escapology – the boasts, the truth-twisting and the insults.

This has become a Covid election. Now it is the president’s weaknesses that are making Joe Biden look so strong.

Read more of Nick’s analysis here.

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