Joe Biden apologized Friday afternoon for suggesting in an interview earlier in the day that African Americans who are considering voting for President Trump “ain’t black.”
“I shouldn’t have been so cavalier. I’ve never, never, ever taken the African American community for granted,” Biden said in a call with African American business leaders, according to CBS. “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy….No one should have to vote for any party based on their race, their religion, their background.”
Biden was referring to remarks he made in an interview on The Breakfast Club to radio DJ Charlamagne Tha God.
“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Biden said.
“It don’t have nothing to do with Trump, it has to do with the fact — I want something for my community,” Charlamagne said.
Senator Tim Scott (R., S.C.), one of three African American senators currently in office, slammed Biden earlier on Friday.
“1.3 million black Americans already voted for Trump in 2016. Joe Biden told every single one of us we ‘ain’t black.’” Scott wrote on Twitter. “I’d say I’m surprised, but it’s sadly par for the course for Democrats to take the black community for granted and browbeat those that don’t agree.”
Biden has broad support among black voters, and a Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday confirmed that 83 percent of black voters support him compared with just 3 percent for President Trump. The former vice president defeated Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) in the Democratic primary in part because of black voters across southern state primaries.