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Joe Biden Takes On Trump At Veterans Event In Tampa

Joe Biden in Tampa for veteran's roundtable
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Joe Biden talks with veterans at Hillsborough Community College

Presidential candidate Joe Biden was in Tampa Tuesday, talking to veterans. There, he took aim at President Trump - as well as the high rate of suicides among veterans.

Joe Biden appeared before several veterans Tuesday at a roundtable at Hillsborough Community College.

The Democratic presidential candidate criticized President Trump for published stories that said he called casualties of war "suckers" and "losers."

Biden said his late son Beau was "no sucker" for having served in the National Guard.

He recalled walking into many a veteran's hospital to talk to those who have been injured in battle.

"I've often heard when I walk in say, soldier, sailor, marine - what can I do for you?," Biden said. "Whether they're amputees or not, they have arms or not, they try to pull themselves up and try to salute. They say, yes sir, I want to go back to my unit. Can you get me back to my unit? Does that sound like the heart and the grit and the patriotism of a sucker? Or a loser?"

Biden also talked about the high rate of suicides among veterans - particularly in Florida.

"The latest data suggests that almost 600 veterans are dying by suicide every year. Just here in Florida - 600 a year," he said. "It's devastating. There aren't any easy answers to this. We can do so much better than we're doing now."

Biden talked about bolstering VA hospitals and promised that veterans would be able to get treatment for injuries in the line of duty.

"We have to end this stigma regarding getting mental health counseling," he said. "I will always have your back, like you've had our country's back."

Biden then traveled to an Hispanic Heritage Month event in Kissimmee.

Here's a link for veterans who may be having trouble and need help.

Joe Biden speaks at a veterans event in Tampa
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Joe Biden speaks at a veterans event in Tampa

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.