Joe Biden says poor kids are ‘as talented as white kids’ in latest election gaffe

Former vice president adds ‘wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids...’ after pause

Zamira Rahim
Friday 09 August 2019 08:31 BST
Joe Biden was speaking at an event in Iowa
Joe Biden was speaking at an event in Iowa (Screenshot/Twitter/@SilERabbit)

Joe Biden has said poor children are just as “talented as white kids” during a campaign event with Asian and Latino voters.

The former vice president made the gaffe, which some took to imply that all poor children are non-white, on the presidential campaign trail in Iowa.

He was speaking about students, wealth and achievement.

“We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor you cannot do it,” he said at the Asian & Lationo Coalition PAC event.

“Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”

After a pause, during which a few people clapped, Mr Biden added: “Wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids....think how we think about it.”

The 76-year-old is currently the Democratic frontrunner but has a history of making distracting gaffes.

In the last few months he has come under scrutiny for allegedly hugging and touching women in an inappropriate manner.

He has also been criticised for joking about the controversy.

The former vice president has since been attacked for suggesting it was acceptable to mock a “gay waiter” five years ago and for fondly recalling his friendly relationship with a segregationist former senator.

The latter remarks, in which Mr Biden discussed working with James O Eastland, prompted fury in Democratic ranks.

Kamala Harris and Cory Booker were among those who criticised the 76-year-old’s comments about Mr Eastland.

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“I do not believe you are a racist. And I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground,” Ms Harris said to the former vice president, during the second Democratic debate.

“But I also believe – and it’s personal, and it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and careers on the segregation of race in this country.”

A wave of Democratic candidates are scheduled to visit the Iowa State Fair this weekend.

The crucial Iowa caucuses, the first contest of the campaign trail, will be held in February 2020.

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