Former vice president Joe Biden spent some of his speech Monday fact-checking President Trump’s depiction of America under a future Biden administration. But the Democratic presidential nominee spent most of it setting the record straight on the topic he knows best: himself.

As some cities have been taken over by racial justice protests that have at times turned violent, Trump has falsely accused Biden of not speaking out aggressively enough against rioters because he claims that Biden is sympathetic to their actions. But Biden, who built a Senate career being so tough on crime that it has cost him some liberal supporters, spoke out vehemently Monday against those who are protesting violently. He said:

I want to make it absolutely clear — something 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’ll only bring destruction. It’s wrong in every way. It divides instead of unites, destroys businesses, only hurts the working families that serve the community. It makes things worse across the board, not better.
No, it’s not what Dr. King or John Lewis taught and it must end. Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames rather than fighting the flames.

One of the keys to Biden’s success has been his ability to connect with moderate voters who are disappointed in Trump’s first term but uncomfortable with how far left some of the other Democratic primary candidates were. Since the earliest days of his campaign, Biden has struggled to win voters farthest to the left. But given how tight the race is expected to be, Trump is seeking to portray a Biden presidency as one centering on the most liberal politics possible. In an effort to attract more moderate voters and former Trump supporters who might be considering Biden, the president has regularly portrayed his opponent as a radical who will be controlled by the far left.

But Biden, who is so known for working with Republican lawmakers that some voters on the far left are holding it against him, rejected the depiction. And he did so by reminding voters that they have gotten to know him too well over the past nearly 50 years to accept Trump’s description.

I’m in this campaign for you, no matter your color, no matter your Zip code, no matter your politics. When I think of the presidency, I don’t think about myself. It isn’t about my brand, it’s about you, the American people. We can do better and we have to do better and I promise you this, we will do better.
You know, the road back begins now in this campaign. 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? I want a safe America, safe from covid, safe from crime and looting, safe from racially motivated violence, safe from bad cops. Let me be crystal clear, safe from four more years of Donald Trump.

Unlike Trump’s 2016 rival Hillary Clinton, Biden doesn’t have to combat decades of negative press by conservative media portraying him as someone who is fundamentally opposed to the values that many right-leaning voters hold dear. In fact, the opposite could be argued when reviewing his positions on crime in the 1980s and 1990s. But for Trump, who is running a campaign where “law and order” against his political opponents is a core value, tying Biden to the most liberal faction of the Democratic Party has become a fundamental part of his fearmongering.