MARSHALLTOWN — Former Vice President Joe Biden is accusing President Trump of failing to defend democratic values in the face of challenges from autocrats like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Donald Trump, I believe, is incapable of celebrating what makes America great because I don’t think he gets it,” Biden said on Thursday.

Biden spoke to a crowd in Marshalltown on Independence Day, largely focusing on what Biden called the “American experiment.”

“Ours is a community of values and it stands in opposition to all who seek to profit from the oppression of other people,” Biden said. “That’s why Putin wants to destroy it. That’s what he’s about. That’s why he’s actively working to tear apart our democracy.”

As Biden and California Senator Kamala Harris campaigned through Iowa over the past two days, they continued a back-and-forth about federal policies to desegregate schools. During his remarks in Marshalltown, Biden drew cheers when he said it’s time to overcome the “status quo of division” in the country.

“I know some of my Democrats say: ‘No, no, no. No compromise,’” Biden said. “Look folks, we can compromise without compromising our principles. Marshalltown knows that better than anyone else…The way in which you dealt with this God-awful disaster when the tornado hit here, you came together. And there’s much more has to be done, but working together with the city council and local businesses, you’re well on your way.”

Biden added that the federal government “much more deeply engaged” in Marshalltown’s recovery.