SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigned in Michigan on Friday afternoon, and he used his speech to condemn the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer saying "make no mistake, that's who they are: domestic terrorists."
Biden said the scheme, which now involves 14 men, is something "you might expect from ISIS."
The FBI foiled the plan to kidnap the governor, storm the Capitol and instigate a civil war, arresting the suspects at the beginning of October. Several members of the group talked about “murdering tyrants or taking a sitting governor,’’ the criminal complaint states.
Authorities said the men were trying to retaliate against Whitmer due to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden shifted from condemning the suspects to criticizing President Donald Trump for his rhetoric.
"The failure to condemn these folks is stunning," Biden said. He then reiterated a common phrase from his campaign trail that "words matter."
"When the president tweeted "liberate Michigan,' that's the call that was heard. That was the dog whistle," Biden said, referencing an April tweet from Trump where he encouraged people protesting the stay at home order.
Following the arrests last week, the White House said the president has condemned hate, and Trump tweeted: “I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence.”
Biden also praised Whitmer during his speech Friday. "There is not a better governor in the United States of American than Gov. Gretchen Whitmer," he said.
Biden will be holding a Get Out the Vote event in Detroit Friday evening. And Trump will be campaigning in Muskegon on Saturday.
Watch the whole event here:
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.