Biden walks back comment that African-Americans who don't vote for him 'ain't black'

'I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy. I shouldn’t have been so cavalier'

Graig Graziosi
Friday 22 May 2020 21:50 BST
Joe Biden: 'If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black’

Former Vice President Joe Biden walked back statements he made on The Breakfast Club on Friday morning in which he told radio host Charlamagne tha God that black voters wavering between him and President Donald Trump "ain't black."

Mr Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the 2020 election, called into a US Black Chamber call and explained his remarks, expressing regret over being a "wise guy."

"I shouldn't have been such a wise guy. I shouldn't have been so cavalier ... I have never, ever taken the African American community for granted," PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor reported Friday.

Charlamagne asked Mr Biden to return to his show the next time he was in New York because "we still got more questions."

Mr Biden replied that anyone still questioning who they'd vote for between himself and Mr Trump "ain't black."

"You've got more questions?" Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black," Mr Biden said.

Charlamagne said his questioning had nothing to do with Mr Trump, but had to do with concerns he had for his community. Mr Biden replied by pointing to his legislative record.

A clip of the interview went viral, prompting debates between Mr Biden's supporters and critics. The former vice president's senior adviser, Symone Sanders, said her boss's comments were made "in jest."

"The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let's be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump's any day. Period," she tweeted.

During Mr Biden's follow-up call to the US Black Caucus, he said it was "unfortunate" that he said black voters "ain't black" if they're considering voting for Mr Trump. He said no one should have to vote for any party based on their race or any other demographic information, and that earning the support of black voters was "critical" to him.

"I am prepared to put my record against his. That was the bottom line. And it was really unfortunate," Mr Biden said. "I shouldn't have been so cavalier."

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