(CNN)Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is forcefully condemning the violent protests that took one life in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday evening, calling on President Donald Trump to do the same.
“The deadly violence we saw overnight in Portland is unacceptable,” Biden said in a statement on Sunday. “I condemn this violence unequivocally. I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same.” Biden is expected to travel to southwestern Pennsylvania on Monday to deliver remarks intended to contrast his vision of leadership with Trump’s, where, according to a statement from his campaign, he’ll ask voters to consider whether they are “safe in Donald Trump’s America.”Campaign aides had been considering the possibility of Biden traveling to Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake to condemn the violent protests occurring in the state in person, but ultimately decided against it. Some local officials have raised concerns about Trump’s scheduled visit to the city Tuesday, and a Biden campaign official said staff did not want to cause an unnecessary burden or be knocked off course by Trump’s taunting criticism.His trip to Pennsylvania comes after a person was shot and killed in downtown Portland Saturday night after an evening of violent clashes between Trump supporters and protesters denouncing police brutality. Authorities have not yet provided any details about the suspect or the victim. Read MoreFor more than 90 consecutive nights, protesters in Portland have denounced police brutality and racial injustice. The protests were spurred by the killing of George Floyd in May and gained steam after last weekend’s police shooting of Blake in Wisconsin. Trump tweeted in encouragement of the caravan of his supporters Sunday morning, calling them “GREAT PATRIOTS!” but has yet to condemn the violence in the city outright besides a litany of tweets and retweets disparaging the city’s Democratic mayor, Ted Wheeler. “We must not become a country at war with ourselves,” Biden warned in his lengthy statement, arguing that the country is less safe because Trump is president. “Donald Trump has been President for almost four years. The temperature in the country is higher, tensions run stronger, divisions run deeper. And all of us are less safe because Donald Trump can’t do the job of the American president,” the former vice president said.Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown similarly blamed Trump. “For the last several years, and escalating in recent months, President Trump has encouraged division and stoked violence. It happened in Charlottesville. It happened in Kenosha. And now, unfortunately, it is happening in Portland, Oregon,” she said in a statement Sunday. Trump and his campaign have attempted to seize on a message of “law and order,” arguing the violence is what can be expected in “Joe Biden’s America.” “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Vice President Mike Pence said during the Republican National Convention last week. “Under President Trump, we will stand with those who stand on the Thin Blue Line, and we’re not going to defund the police — not now, not ever.” Democrats, including Biden himself, have pushed back on that notion, even going so far as to say that Trump is actually inciting violence. “If you think about it, Donald Trump saying you’re not going to be safe in Joe Biden’s America while all the video being played is in Donald Trump’s America,” Biden said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday. Biden said on CNN that Trump is “absolutely” rooting for violence for political purpose because it allows him to claim a “law and order” mantle.”Have you ever heard this President say one negative thing about white supremacists? Have you ever heard it?” he asked. “That’s the reason I got back in this race — because what happened in Charlottesville,” Biden said, recalling Trump’s “both sides” comment following violence in the Virginia city in 2017. The decision for Biden to deliver an address from Pennsylvania on Monday underscores the rising urgency in his general election battle with Trump, who has sought to redirect the campaign debate from a referendum on his first term.The Democratic nominee last week announced at a fundraiser that he intends to travel in-person to battleground states after Labor Day “without jeopardizing or violating state rules,” listing Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Arizona as some of the places that he is considering. But advisers say he will not dramatically change course because of Trump’s blistering criticism or be prematurely drawn into traveling before it is deemed safe by health officials.”We will stick to the game plan we’ve had from the first day of the campaign — to restore the soul of the nation,” a Biden adviser told CNN. “We will not be distracted from that goal.”Trump responded to news about Biden’s planned trip to Pennsylvania, tweeting on Sunday that the reason Biden is holding an in-person event is because of “some very disturbing numbers,” referring to poll numbers. However, early post-convention polling shows that while Trump may have seen a small bump, he is still trailing Biden.This story has been updated with additional developments.