Joe Biden said in a Friday interview that a black voter who can’t decide between him and President Trump in the 2020 elections isn’t really black.
“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Biden told radio DJ Charlamagne tha God on The Breakfast Club. (The comments come at around the 17:15 mark.)
“It don’t have nothing to do with Trump, it has to do with the fact — I want something for my community,” Charlamagne responded.
The comments came after Biden said his campaign was looking into “multiple” African-American women to pick as his running mate.
Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only Republican African American senator currently in office, slammed Biden’s remarks.
“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.”
Senior Biden adviser Symone Sanders hit back at critics of the candidate’s Friday remarks.
“The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest,” Sanders wrote on Twitter, “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.”
According to a Quinnipiac poll released on May 20, 81 percent of black voters back Biden, while just 3 percent support President Trump, in the 2020 election. Biden drew on widespread support among African Americans to beat Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) in the Democratic primary. The former vice president received the endorsement of House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D., S.C.), the highest-ranking African American member of Congress.
Biden received criticism as vice president during the 2012 campaign, when he told a largely African American audience in Virginia that Republicans wanted to “put y’all back in chains.”
“Look at what [Republicans] value, and look at their budget. And look what they’re proposing,” Biden said of then House speaker Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. “[Romney] said in the first hundred days, he’s going to let the big banks write their own rules — unchain Wall Street. They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”