Biden meets with Blake family, talks solutions with Kenosha community members in first campaign visit to Wisconsin

KENOSHA, Wis. — With only a couple months left to go until the general election, Democratic candidate Joe Biden made his first stop in Wisconsin on Thursday, meeting with the family of Jacob Blake, the man police shot several times more than a week ago.

Biden addressed community members in a church in Kenosha, recounting his visit with Blake’s family that included a 15-minute phone conversation with Blake.

“He talked about how nothing was going to defeat him,” Biden said. “How whether he walked again or not he wasn’t going to give up.”

It was part of his visit to the city that’s seen police shooting a black man, violent protests, and a presidential visit in less than two weeks.

A firefighter, lawyer, alder and mother talked to him about the problems they see, begging for a solution.

“We hear so many people say oh we’re going to give you this, we’re going to give you that, but we have yet to see action,” said one woman at the event.

Biden answered, pushing for optimism.

“I think all of what’s been unleashed with a lot of people is they understand that fear doesn’t solve problems, only hope does, and if you give up hope you might as well surrender,” he said.

Along with his message of optimism, Biden talked about specific policy proposals he said he’d work on if elected, including raising the national minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour, prison and healthcare reform and more money for Title 1 schools.

Republicans meanwhile criticized Biden for not coming to the state once during his campaign, while building up the president’s visit just a few days earlier.

“Thankfully President Trump came to Kenosha and he gave Kenosha the assistance they needed,” said former Gov. Scott Walker. “That combined help stopped the violence. It brought calm and law and order.”

Walker and state GOP chair Andrew Hitt questioned where Biden has been.

“Just two weeks ago the Democrats said that science is what prevented Joe Biden from coming to Wisconsin, coming to Milwaukee … to the DNC, and what about the science has changed in the last two weeks?” Hitt said.