The president and Biden had the question posed to them of: “Do you understand why African American parents are fearful for their children?”
In Trump’s response, he said he did and then turned swiftly to an attack on Biden over the crime bill.
“Yes, I do. He’s been in government 47 years. He never did a thing. Except in 1994, when he did such harm to the Black community and they were called, and he called them, ‘super predators’ and he said that, he said it, ‘super predators,’” Trump said.
“And they have never lived that down, 1994, your crime bill, the ‘super predators.’”
Trump went on to say that “nobody had done more for the Black community” than he had, with the “possible exception” of Abraham Lincoln.
Following this, Biden said: “My response to that is I never ever said what he accused me of saying. The fact of the matter is in 2000 though, after the crime bill had been in the law for a while, this is a guy who said, ‘The problem with the crime bill, there’s not enough people in jail. There’s not enough people in jail.’”
Biden did not use the term “super predators” himself. But he did talk of “predators on our streets” while advocating for the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.
In a floor speech in 1993, the then Delaware senator said: “We have predators on our streets that society has in fact, in part because of its neglect, created. They are beyond the pale many of those people, beyond the pale.
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“It’s a sad commentary on society. We have no choice but to take them out of society.”
It was former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who used the term “super predators” when discussing an “organized effort against gangs.”
“Just as in a previous generation, we had an organized effort against the mob. We need to take these people on. They are often connected to big drug cartels. They are not just gangs of kids anymore,” she said, speaking in 1996 and discussing the 1994 bill, which was signed by her husband Bill Clinton.
“They are often the kinds of kids that are called super predators. No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first, we have to bring them to heel.”
She told The Washington Post in 2016 that she should not have said what she did.
“Looking back, I shouldn’t have used those words, and I wouldn’t use them today,” she said after being confronted over her words at a fundraising event, where she was asked to apologize for the rate at which Black Americans are incarcerated.
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Her statement continued: “My life’s work has been about lifting up children and young people who’ve been let down by the system or by society, kids who never got the chance they deserved.
“And unfortunately today, there are way too many of those kids, especially in African-American communities.
“We haven’t done right by them. We need to. We need to end the school to prison pipeline and replace it with a cradle-to-college pipeline.”
Newsweek has contacted the Trump and Biden campaigns for comment.
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