The old axiom trotted out in every presidential reelection campaign is, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Today, Joe Biden turned that sentiment on its head, effectively recasting it as, "Are you safer than you were four years ago?"
In a blistering speech delivered this afternoon, Biden cast President Trump as an agent of not only chaos, but outright danger, citing everything from his stoking of racial unrest, to his all but non-existent pandemic response, to his fumbling of the economy.
The speech was delivered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a state that is key to either candidate's victory in November.
In response to Trump's claims that the election of Biden would bring the waves of protest that have ignited in many cities spread to the suburbs, Biden took a hard-line stance against the protests' sometimes violent episodes.
"I want to be very clear about all of this: Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting."
"It's lawlessness, plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted. Violence will not bring change, it will only bring destruction. It's wrong in every way."
And Biden leveraged his decades-long tenure in Congress to appeal directly to the white suburban voters Trump is attempting to frighten into reelecting him.
"You know me. You know my heart. You know my story, my family's story."
"Ask yourself: Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?"
Biden also addressed Trump's relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, especially in light of the recent revelation that Putin had offered the Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers.
"Not even American troops can feel safer under President Trump."
As for the President himself, Biden attacked him far more directly than he did at his closeing Democratic National Convention speech, where he never mentioned the President by name.
"Donald Trump has been a toxic presence in our nation for four years. Will we rid ourselves of this toxin? Or will we make it a permanent part of our nation's character?"
On Twitter, there was mountains of praise for Biden's speech.
And many felt it was precisely the antidote to Trump's rhetoric
Biden's speech also comes after months on end where the former Vice President hasn't traveled outside his native Delaware or the Philadelphia area due to the pandemic. He recently told supporters who attended a virtual fundraiser that he plans to visit Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Minnesota in the coming weeks.