At a Hispanic heritage event Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden tried to fan the flames of Donald Trump’s fiery rhetoric regarding illegal immigration. The controversy began the day the businessman entered the 2016 race, when he broad brushed illegal immigrants as “rapists.” Trump refused to tone down those infamous comments, making the media rounds insisting "somebody's doing the raping." Biden did his best to counter the businessman's rather unorthodox speech:
Biden told approximately 75 guests at a Hispanic heritage event at his residence at the Naval Observatory, among them former Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez, that Trump was “appealing to the baser side of human nature.” He said Trump embodied a “xenophobia” not seen since the mid-nineteenth century.
“This will not prevail,” he added, remarking that Trump was repeating a “sick message.”
Yet, Trump has consistently prevailed in 2016 election polls. Leading by double digits in many instances, the businessman seems to have hit a nerve with Americans eager to support a Washington outsider. Considering 82 percent of Hispanic voters view Trump unfavorably, they are one demographic that must be especially nervous about his frontrunner status.
The vice president, in an effort to ensure attendees that all humanity is not lost, contrasted Trump with the more peaceful persona of Pope Francis, who is making a rare trip to the United States next week:
Biden hailed the Pope as “the most popular man in the world” and said Francis had legions of fans across all religions because of his belief in the golden rule. The vice president said the “vast majority” agreed with that sentiment.
As for his own 2016 plans, Biden is still struggling to make a decision, for the death of his son Beau is still painfully real. Yet, the vice president’s recent trip to New York suggests he is mere inches from a run.