“Burning down communities is not protest, it’s needless violence,” he said. “Violence that endangers lives. Violence that guts businesses, and shutters businesses, that serve the community. That’s wrong.”
Even before the convention, Republicans sought to cast Mr. Biden as radically anti-law enforcement, falsely claiming that he wants to defund the police, a proposal Mr. Biden has repeatedly rejected. In fact, Mr. Biden for years fashioned himself as a tough-on-crime kind of Democrat, and he played a central role in the 1994 crime bill — a measure that many experts now associate with mass incarceration and a part of Mr. Biden’s record that gives criminal justice advocates and some progressives pause to this day. In recent months, he has called for sweeping policing reforms and spoken out passionately against police violence, but he has also made a point to emphasize his view that “the vast majority” of police officers “are good, decent people.”
Up until this point, Mr. Trump has struggled to define Mr. Biden, lobbing an onslaught of sometimes-contradictory attacks at him all summer while remaining behind him in the polls. At one point, in the Philadelphia media market, Mr. Trump ran advertisements that portrayed Mr. Biden as both weak on law enforcement matters and overly punitive. Strands of both of those arguments have come through during his convention this week.
But Mr. Trump has succeeded many times before in tarring his opponents, and Democrats acknowledge he still has time to do so with Mr. Biden before November.
On Wednesday, other Republicans gave it a try.
Mr. Biden, Ms. Stefanik said, represents the “far-left failed policies of the past 47 years.”
He is a Catholic “in name only,” said Lou Holtz, the former college football coach, making a false claim about a man who regularly attends church and speaks frequently about his faith.
Or perhaps, Mr. Pence said, Mr. Biden — a man who often waxes nostalgic for the days of bipartisan dealmaking — is actually “a Trojan horse for the radical left.”