Former Vice President Joe Biden said because he is not currently serving in a public office, he has not seen the need for him to call the Democratic leaders in Oregon to tell them to get a handle on the continuous riots in Portland.
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace challenged Biden on the issue during the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday.
"Portland, Oregon, especially, we had more than 100 straight days of protest, which I think you would agree, you talk about peaceful protest, many of those turned into riots. Mr. Vice President, you say the people who commit crimes should be held accountable. The question I have, though, is, as the Democratic nominee and earlier tonight you said you are the Democratic Party right now, have you ever called the Democratic mayor of Portland or the Democratic governor of Oregon and said, 'Hey, you’ve got to stop this? Bring in the National Guard, do whatever it takes but stop the days and months of violence in Portland?'" Wallace asked.
"I don’t hold public office now. I am a former vice president. I’ve made it clear. I’ve made it clear in my public statements and that the violence should be prosecuted. It should be prosecuted," Biden replied.
Wallace again asked Biden why he has not taken the initiative to tell Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) or Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) to bring a full stop to the riots.
"Because they can, in fact, take care of it if he would just stay out of the way," Biden said, referring to President Trump.
Biden seemed to be passing the buck on leadership despite saying earlier in the debate that he is in charge of the Democratic Party. He also denied Antifa organizations exist, instead insisting Antifa is just an "idea."