Joseph R. Biden said Wednesday that President Trump’s conduct during Tuesday’s debate in Cleveland was a “national embarrassment.”
“I just hope the American people and those undecided voters try to determine what each of us has as an answer for their concerns,” Mr. Biden said at a campaign stop in Alliance, Ohio.
Mr. Biden said Mr. Trump gave a “dog whistle to white supremacy” when the president told the Proud Boys, a white nationalist group, to “stand back and stand by.”
The former vice president said Mr. Trump told the group to “stand down and stand ready.”
He said his message to such groups is “cease and desist.”
“The American people will decide who the next president of the United States will be, period,” Mr. Biden said.
Republicans have said Mr. Trump might want to clarify the comments about the Proud Boys but that he’s clearly condemned white supremacists.
“He wants them to get out of the way,” Trump campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley said on CNN. “He wants them to not do the things they say they want to do. This is a reprehensible group.”
Mr. Biden said he’s looking forward to the next debate but that he hopes the moderator can control the proceedings a bit better.
The next presidential debate is a town hall-style debate in Miami on Oct. 15.
Some Democrats have said it’s not worth it to continue to have debates if they’re similar to Tuesday night’s proceedings, where Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump traded personal insults and interruptions for much of the 90-minute-plus event.